Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. (Chatham House, CC BY 2.0)

Top Story — The administration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is drafting legislation to give foreign investors and private companies more leverage over rural landowners, according to government sources who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. If passed in its current format, the proposed bill will comprise the most significant reform of land…

(Archangel 12, CC BY 2.0)

Top Story — A Mexican military helicopter was shot down on Friday by gunmen seemingly affiliated to the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), highlighting the group’s increased prominence as a target of the government’s ongoing crackdown on criminal organizations. At least three soldiers were killed when the helicopter was shot down over the state of…

Viacrucis participants march through Chahuites, Mexico. (Photo by author)

MEXICO CITY — Ciudad Tecún Umán is sweltering. All of the town’s households and its handful of ramshackle cantinas still use wood-burning stoves, their sweaty attendants braving the compounded afternoon heat. The smoke trails out into the few dusty streets, unpaved, potholed and barely stretching to the edge of the Rio Suchiate, which divides Tecún…

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart at a recent congressional hearing on agent misconduct in Colombia. (YouTube, screenshot)

Top Story — Michelle Leonhart, the head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, will soon resign, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Tuesday, as controversy endures over her handling of a scandal involving DEA agents’ conduct in Colombia. According to an investigation by the Investigator of the Justice Department, the DEA’s parent agency, agents in Colombia…

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. (Marc A. Hermann/New York City MTA, CC BY 2.0)

Top Story — Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York state, visited Cuba Monday to lobby for increased commercial ties between his state’s businesses and the island nation, despite the continued existence of a broader economic embargo targeting the latter. Cuomo and his delegation met on Monday with several top Cuban officials, including Rodrigo Malmierca…

A burning bus used as a blockade Saturday in the Mexican city of Reynosa. (YouTube, screenshot)

Top Story — Mexico’s government on Sunday announced the arrest of the accused leader of the Juárez drug cartel, just days after apprehending the head of the Gulf cartel, an arrest which sparked an outburst of violence in the border city of Reynosa. Jesús Salas Aguayo was arrested Friday in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico’s…

Havana, Cuba, in March 2014. Removing Cuba from a list of stats sponsoring terrorism has been a sticking point in diplomatic talks with the United States.Gereth Williams, CC BY 2.0)

Top Story — U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced his intention to remove Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, the latest step taken toward the normalization of relations between the two countries, and one that may hasten the process of restoring full diplomatic ties. The announcement had been anticipated since…

Cuban President Raúl Castro meets with U.S. President Barack Obama during the seventh Summit of the Americas. (Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, public domain)

Top Story — U.S. President Barack Obama met with Cuban leader Raúl Castro on Saturday, the first time the two countries’ heads of state have been face-to-face since Cuba’s 1959 revolution. The meeting set the tone for the seventh Summit of the Americas, where regional leaders were notably muted in their usual criticism of the…