December 16, 2013 |
A makeshift bucket brigade hauled 14 pails of mud and slush from the tent that Um Mahmoud shares with a dozen other Syrian refugees in a ramshackle settlement here in the Bekaa Valley, now blanketed with snow that lends an alpine sheen to the rugged stretch that extends to the Syrian border. While holiday-makers from Beirut hastened to the hills with sleds and toboggans, piling souvenir snow onto their vehicles for the drive home, there was nothing merry about the weekend blizzard for the multitudes of Syrians living rough in makeshift camps scattered throughout the region.
January 9, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican government on Wednesday enacted a controversial law aimed at giving recognition and recourse to tens of thousands of victims of the drug-related violence that has raged across the nation for the last six years. In a ceremony where survivors held photographs of missing or slain children, parents and spouses, President Enrique Peña Nieto said the law would require authorities to assist victims and establish a fund for possible reparations. “There is today a Mexico that has been hurt by crime,” the president said.
August 8, 2012 |
MEXICO CITY - It must have seemed like a good idea at the time: a memorial to the thousands of victims of the drug violence that has convulsed Mexico for most of the last decade. Washington, after all, has its Vietnam War memorial. New York has its monument at the site of the World Trade Center. But even as the winning design was being announced, Mexico's tribute was stricken by the conflicting visions and bitter disputes that have driven wedges into Mexican society. Innocent civilians, police officers on duty and soldiers fighting drug cartels are among the more than 50,000 dead in the government's crackdown on the cartels.
November 9, 2011
The price of war Re "Remembering California's war dead," Nov. 6 You cite figures indicating that there have been 6,204 U.S. military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a veteran of World War II, I can still remember the wounds and suffering of that long-ago time. Veterans Day will soon be upon us, and it should bring home the fact that every war really represents a failure of humans to conduct their affairs in a sensible and civilized way. Dead soldiers are victims even more than they are heroes.
March 15, 2010 |
The bicycle man prefers working in the sun, sitting on a cushion nailed to a wooden block, stretching out his right leg, the one with a missing foot, taken years ago in that instant when a man's life veers another way. Abdul Hibib has been fixing bicycles for almost 30 years. His hands are quick, clicking gears, moving across spokes as if he's plucking a harp. So much worn rubber and troubled history have rolled past him. His country tumbled from war to war while he tinkered with bicycles, outlasting the Soviets, surviving the Taliban.
March 7, 2010 |
When Claudia Llosa was growing up in Lima, Peru, adolescence wasn't a time for hanging out with friends in the streets. The country was in the grip of a brutal civil war pitting the Maoist Shining Path guerrillas against a government determined to stamp them out at any cost. "The message was, 'Stay inside! Hide yourself! Be careful!' " Llosa, 33, recalled recently during an interview at a West Hollywood hotel, speaking in Spanish. "I knew that I would speak of the theme one day, but I didn't know how to come face to face with it. It was a reality that changed everything.