102 people killed during the campaign, yet another sign of the country’s unraveling security.

His family is politically powerful. His brother, David, is governor-elect of Zacatecas. Another brother, Ricardo, leads the Morena party in the Senate and has said he intends to run for president in 2024. But not even the family’s political prominence has managed to rescue the city or the state.

central to the drug trade, a crossroads between the Pacific, where narcotics and drugmaking products are shipped in, and northern states along the United States border. Fresnillo, which sits in the center of important roads and highways, is strategically vital.

But for much of its recent history, residents say they were largely left alone. That began changing around 2007 and 2008 as the government’s assault on the cartels led them to splinter, evolve and spread.

In the last few years, the region has become embroiled in a battle between two of the country’s most powerful organized crime groups: the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

Caught in the middle of the fighting are residents like Guadalupe. She can remember sitting on the stoop with neighbors until midnight as a young girl. Now, the city lies desolate after dark.

Guadalupe does not let her children play outside unsupervised, but even that couldn’t stop the violence from tearing her family apart. On the night her son was killed, in mid-July, four armed men stormed into her home, dragging out her son, Henry, and two friends who were sleeping over. There was a burst of gunfire, and then the assailants were gone.

It was Guadalupe who found the teenagers’ bodies.

Now she and her family live in terror. Too scared to stay in the same house, they moved in with Guadalupe’s parents in a different part of town. But the fear remained. Her 10-year-old daughter can barely sleep, she said, and Guadalupe keeps dreaming of her son’s killing. The motive, and the identity of the killers, remain unknown.

Guadalupe has thought about leaving town or even taking her own life. But for now, she sits in her parents’ small, cinder-block house, the curtains drawn, the shadows broken by the candles of a little altar to Henry and his fallen friends.

“There’s nothing here,” she said. “The fear has overwhelmed us.”

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Years of Unheeded Warnings. Then the Subway Crash Mexico City Had Feared.

MEXICO CITY — The capital had been bracing for the disaster for years.

Ever since it opened nearly a decade ago, the newest Mexico City subway line — a heralded expansion of the second largest subway system in the Americas — had been plagued with structural weaknesses that led engineers to warn of potential accidents. Yet other than a brief, partial shutdown of the line in 2014, the warnings went unheeded by successive governments.

On Monday night, the mounting problems turned fatal: A subway train on the Golden Line plunged about 50 feet after an overpass collapsed underneath it, killing at least 24 people and injuring dozens more.

The accident — and the government’s failure to act sooner to fix known problems with the line — immediately set off a political firestorm for three of the most powerful people in Mexico: the president and the two people widely believed to be front-runners to succeed him as leaders of the governing party and possibly, the country.

told reporters through sobs. “I can’t find him anywhere.”

Hours later, her 13-year-old son, Brandon Giovani Hernández Tapia, was still missing.

told reporters gathered at the crash site on Tuesday. “The metro wasn’t built on its own — this flaw has been there for a long time and no one did anything.”

A total of 79 injured people had been taken to hospitals, three of whom later died, according to Claudia Sheinbaum, the mayor of Mexico City. Among those hospitalized were three minors.

Mexico City’s water problems and its subway system, a key mode of transportation for the sprawling capital’s population of nearly 22 million.

In the aftermath of Monday’s disaster, two of Mr. López Obrador’s closest allies came under immediate scrutiny: Ms. Sheinbaum, the capital’s mayor, and Marcelo Ebrard, the foreign minister who was mayor when the new subway line opened. Both are presumed to be top contenders to run for the presidency when Mr. López Obrador, limited to one term, steps down in 2024.

The new line, which serves the working-class neighborhoods in the capital’s southeast, was built by Mr. Ebrard, who was mayor of Mexico from 2006 to 2012. He was accused by critics of rushing to finish construction before his term concluded in an effort to bolster his political legacy. Troubles emerged immediately.

In just the first month after the line was inaugurated, there were 60 mechanical failures on trains or on tracks, according to local media. Trains had to slow down over elevated stretches of track, because engineers feared derailments. About a year later, the city was forced to temporarily shut down part of the $2 billion line for repairs.

transport authorities reported “a structural fault” in one of the metro line’s supporting columns, which had affected its ability to support heavy weight.

In 2018, senators from the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party called for Mexico City authorities to inform Congress about irregularities in the funding of the subway line’s expansion. In an official party document, the opposition lawmakers called the Golden Line a “symbol of corruption and the misuse of public resources that prevailed during that administration.”

The lawmakers cited a congressional inquiry into the faulty line which found that “the modifications to the basic engineering, to the original layout with the change of underground stations to elevated stations, severely affected the technical operating conditions” of the subway line.

Residents living near the scene of the accident said government workers had fixed the column shortly after the earthquake. But they expressed doubt about the quality of the reconstruction, after seeing how many shutdowns and maintenance issues the line had over the years.

Hernando Manon, 42, was walking home from work Monday night when he felt a tremor and heard a loud crash a few hundred yards up the street.

“There was a rumbling and then sparks. The lights went out, and we didn’t know what happened. Then we heard the sirens,” Mr. Manon said, standing just a few hundred yards from the site of the accident. “As we approached, we realized that the subway had collapsed.”

Families rushed to the scene, he said, hoping to find their loved ones and yelling at the police demanding to be let through the cordon they had erected around the wreckage.

2018-2030 Master Plan for the subway system detailed major backlogs to the maintenance of tracks and trains and warned that trains could be derailed on the Golden Line unless major repairs were undertaken. It is unclear whether those needed repairs were ever carried out.

Since becoming mayor of the capital in 2018, Ms. Sheinbaum, who is closely aligned with the president’s pursuit of austerity, has presided over cuts to spending on the subway system.

For a year, the city did not appoint a director of infrastructure maintenance for the subway system. Ms. Sheinbaum only filled the role last week.

two subway trains collided in Mexico City. Then in January, a fire ripped through the subway’s headquarters in downtown Mexico City, killing a police officer and sending 30 others to hospital.

At a news conference on Tuesday, both Ms. Sheinbaum and Mr. Ebrard faced harsh questioning from reporters. Publicly, at least, the two political heavyweights presented a united front.

“We are in agreement to get to the bottom of this and work together to find the truth and know what caused this incident,” Ms. Sheinbaum said.

“If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear,” Mr. Ebrard said. “Like anyone else, I am subject to whatever the authorities determine, but even more so as a high-level official, as someone who promoted the construction of the line.”

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Lucha libre, yoga y baile: bienvenidos a los centros de vacunación de Ciudad de México

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO — Alguien con un disfraz de Charlie Brown saluda frenéticamente. Una persona vestida de mono finge tomar fotos con una cámara de peluche. Un hombre mayor que acaba de recibir su segunda inyección de la vacuna de Pfizer toma un micrófono y comienza a cantar muy fuerte.

“Tengo 78 años, pero todos me dicen que parezco de 75 y medio”, decía el hombre alegremente, una apreciación proyectada en su aparente fuerza pulmonar, mientras entonaba con pasión una canción ranchera.

En un intento por mejorar el servicio al cliente, los centros de vacunación de la capital de México ofrecen ahora, además de los pinchazos, una serie de opciones de entretenimiento como bailes, yoga, actuaciones de ópera en directo y la posibilidad de ver a grandes luchadores de lucha libre con el torso desnudo haciendo el limbo.

virus en América Latina y los esfuerzos tropezados de vacunación en muchos de sus países. Las preocupaciones se han agravado recientemente por la rápida propagación de una variante del virus descubierta por primera vez en Brasil.

el tercer mayor número de muertes por coronavirus en todo el mundo, donde el gobierno se resiste a imponer confinamientos estrictos, por temor a los daños a la economía, y que no ha realizado pruebas generalizadas, argumentando que es un desperdicio de dinero.

Muchos creen que la única salida a esta pesadilla es la vacunación masiva, pero la campaña avanza lentamente. Sin embargo, desde mediados de abril el ritmo se ha acelerado a nivel nacional —y después de algunos desórdenes al principio— la capital del país ha mejorado la eficiencia de sus procesos de vacunación.

“Nos dimos cuenta rápidamente que no, que con la estrategia habíamos pensado no íbamos a poder atender a los adultos mayores con el nivel de calidad y servicio que ellos merecían”, dijo Eduardo Clark, quien ayuda a coordinar el programa de vacunación de la ciudad.

lucha libre con máscaras de colores, llamados Gravedad, Bandido, Guerrero Olímpico, Hijo del Pirata Morgan y Ciclón Ramírez Jr.

“Es un ratito de alegría”, gritó Silva para hacerse escuchar a pesar del sonido de la banda que tocaba en directo a unos metros de distancia, asintiendo al ritmo. “Reanima lo que uno tiene adentro”.

Con las arenas de lucha libre cerradas por la pandemia, el gobierno ha dado un uso creativo a los enmascarados de la lucha libre, alistándolos para que hagan cumplir el uso de las mascarillas simulando que abordan a la gente y ahora con esto.

“Me gusta el hecho de que estén cooperando, solidarios con la gente”, dijo Francisca Rodríguez, mientras la silla de ruedas de su marido era momentáneamente requisada por un sudoroso Ciclón Ramírez Jr.

Rodríguez dijo que López Obrador, había hecho un trabajo “excelente” en la gestión de la pandemia, aunque reconoció que el presidente había recibido muchas críticas por negarse a vacunar a algunos trabajadores de los hospitales privados, quienes dicen que se les hace esperar más tiempo que los de los hospitales públicos.

“Hay una guerra mediática contra el presidente López Obrador en este momento”, dijo, enfáticamente. “Hasta los periódicos de Estados Unidos están atacando al presidente”.

A medida que la gente se vacunaba y entraba en la zona donde se les observaría para detectar reacciones secundarias, los enmascarados de la lucha libre estallaron en un cántico de “¡sí se pudo!”.

“Mis hijos me van a preguntar cómo era, entonces les voy a llevar evidencias”, dijo Luis González, de 68 años, quien grababa la actuación con el celular.

Cuando la esposa de González contrajo el coronavirus hace cuatro meses, él se sentó a su lado, abanicándola con un trozo de cartón para intentar que tuviera más aire para respirar. Tras 38 años de matrimonio, la vio morir en su casa, a la espera de una ambulancia.

González se sentó en la primera fila mucho después de haber pasado su periodo de observación, solo, viendo bailar a los luchadores.

“Se siente el vacío, más por las noches”, dijo. “Durante los días, es más fácil distraerme”.

Alejandro Cegarra colaboró en este reportaje.


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Lucha Libre, Yoga, Dancing: Welcome to Mexico City’s Vaccination Sites

MEXICO CITY — Someone in a Charlie Brown costume frantically waves hello. A person dressed as a monkey pretends to take photos with a stuffed camera. An elderly man who just got his second shot of the Pfizer vaccine grabs a microphone and starts singing very loudly.

“I’m 78, but they tell me I look 75 and a half,” the man said gleefully, the assessment supported by his apparent lung strength as he belted out a ranchera song with abandon.

In a bid to improve their customer service, vaccination centers in Mexico’s capital now come with a slate of entertainment options, including dancing, yoga, live operatic performances and the chance to watch large, bare-chested Lucha Libre wrestlers do the limbo.

The goal is to make the process as appealing as possible, said a woman leading a singing and dancing performance for people waiting for a shot at a military parade ground in Mexico City on a recent Wednesday.

virus in Latin America and the sputtering vaccination efforts in many of its countries. Concerns have been compounded recently by the rapid spread of a virus variant first discovered in Brazil.

At the vaccination center in Mexico City, women in white shirts led the crowd in various yoga poses that could be done in wheelchairs. Men performed tricks with a surprising number of soccer balls. A professional opera singer congratulated everyone.

the third highest coronavirus death toll worldwide, where the government resisted imposing strict lockdowns, fearing damage to the economy, and which has not tested widely, arguing it is a waste of money.

Many believe that the only escape from this nightmare is mass vaccination, but the campaign had been moving glacially. By mid-April, though, the pace has picked up nationally — and after some messiness in the beginning, the nation’s capital has gotten better at efficiently getting shots into arms.

“We quickly realized that with the strategy we had in place, we couldn’t attend to seniors with the level of service they deserved,” said Eduardo Clark, who helps coordinate the city’s vaccination program.

Lucha Libre wrestlers, named Gravity, Bandido, Guerrero Olímpico, Hijo de Pirata Morgan and Ciclón Ramírez Jr.

“It’s a little bit of joy,” Ms. Silva shouted over the live band playing a few feet away, nodding to the beat. “It reanimates what you have inside.”

With the pandemic closing wrestling arenas, the government has put the Lucha Libre fighters to creative use, enlisting them to enforce mask wearing by pretending to accost people and now this.

“I’m glad they are here cooperating, in solidarity with people,” said Francisca Rodríguez, whose husband’s wheelchair had momentarily been commandeered by a sweating Ciclón Ramírez Jr.

Ms. Rodríguez said Mr. López Obrador, had done an “excellent” job of managing the pandemic, though she acknowledged that the president had taken a beating for refusing to vaccinate some workers in private hospitals, who say they’re being made to wait longer than those at public hospitals.

“There is a media war against President López Obrador right now,” she said, pointedly. “Even American newspapers are attacking the president.”

As people were vaccinated and filed into the area where they would be observed for adverse reactions, the Lucha Libre wrestlers broke out into a “yes you could!” chant.

“My children are going to ask me how it was, so I’m going to bring them evidence,” said Luis González, 68, recording the performance on his cellphone.

When Mr. González’s wife got the coronavirus four months ago, he sat by her side, fanning her with a piece of cardboard to try to make more air available to breathe. After 38 years of marriage, he watched her die in their home, waiting for an ambulance.

Mr. González sat in the front row long after his observation period had passed, alone, watching the wrestlers dance.

“You feel the emptiness, especially at night,” he said. “During the days, it’s easier to distract myself.”

Alejandro Cegarra contributed reporting.

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Killing of Salvadoran Refugee by Police in Mexico Incites Furor

MEXICO CITY — The death at the hands of police of a woman who was a refugee from El Salvador has drawn international condemnation and potential embarrassment for Mexico, which on Monday began hosting a United Nations summit focused on gender equality.

The woman, Victoria Esperanza Salazar Arriaza, died on Saturday after being detained by the police in Tulum, a resort town on the Yucatán Peninsula. Videos shared on social media show an officer kneeling on the woman’s back as she cried out. Officers can later be seen dragging her limp body into the back of a police truck.

Authorities in the state of Quintana Roo confirmed on Monday that the cause of death was a fractured spine, and four officers were arrested in connection with the killing.

On Monday afternoon, the mayor of Tulum, Victor Mas Tah, said at a news conference that the city’s chief of police had been removed from his post.

ever-increasing number of Central Americans who are traveling the length of Mexico in a bid to reach the United States.

Mr. López Obrador has come under intense criticism for his inaction on gender violence from local feminist activists, whom he dismisses as being politically motivated. Earlier this month, hundreds of women marched on the president’s residence, the National Palace, attacking with bats and blowtorches a metal barrier erected by officials to protect the building. On Sunday night, family members of women killed in Mexico held an all-night vigil outside the National Palace to demand justice for the dead.

were arrested in the massacre of 19 people, including several Guatemalan migrants, in the northern state of Tamaulipas, the latest in a long line of killings in Mexico involving government forces.

On Sunday night, President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador sent out a flurry of tweets condemning the killing of Ms. Esperanza and calling on Mexican authorities to punish the officers involved.

“I am sure that the Mexican government will apply the full weight of the law on those responsible,” Mr. Bukele said. “My condolences to Victoria’s family, especially her two daughters, to whom we will give all possible help.”

Ms. Esperanza’s killing in police custody also drew comparisons to the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, who similarly died under an officer’s knee, sparking nationwide protests in the United States and an international reckoning on race and police brutality.

On Sunday, dozens of people marched through the streets of Tulum demanding justice for Ms. Salazar and an end to violence against women in Mexico, local media reported.

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13 Law Enforcement Officers Killed in Mexico Ambush

MEXICO CITY — Gunmen on Thursday ambushed a Mexican government convoy conducting a security patrol southwest of the capital, killing 13 prosecutors and police officers in what appeared to be the deadliest assault on Mexican law enforcement in well over a year, officials said.

The attack was a major setback to government security forces and yet another reminder of the severe security challenges facing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The president took office in 2018 promising to make Mexico a safer place, but he has been unable to put a meaningful dent in the violence that has long bloodied the country.

Rodrigo Martínez Celis Wogau, security minister for the State of Mexico, called the ambush “an affront to the Mexican state” and promised to “respond with total force.”

The convoy on Thursday was patrolling in Coatepec Harinas, about 40 miles southwest of Mexico City, the capital, to “combat criminal groups who operate in that zone,” Mr. Martínez added in a video statement posted on Twitter.

gunmen killed 14 police officers in the state of Michoacán.

The slayings in central Mexico on Thursday added to the 86 police officers who had been killed this year already, according to Causa en Común, a Mexican anti-corruption group that focuses on public security.

Last year was the deadliest year for police since the group began tracking deaths in 2018, with at least 524 officers killed.

Like most crimes in Mexico, the majority of police killings go unpunished, security analysts say.

“The feeling that’s left is that it’s possible to attack an agent of the state without consequences,” said Alejandro Hope, a Mexico City-based security analyst. “If we can’t protect the lives of the police, how can we ask them to protect ours?”

The federal government immediately responded to the killings on Thursday by deploying elements of the Marines, the Army and the National Guard to the area, Mr. Martinez said.

Officials made no immediate comment about potential suspects in the attack.

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US to Send Millions of Covid-19 Vaccine Doses to Mexico and Canada

The United States plans to send millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Mexico and Canada, the White House said Thursday, a notable step into vaccine diplomacy just as the Biden administration is quietly pressing Mexico to curb the stream of migrants coming to the border.

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said the United States was planning to share 2.5 million doses of the vaccine with Mexico and 1.5 million with Canada, adding that it was “not finalized yet, but that is our aim.”

Tens of millions of doses of the vaccine have been sitting in American manufacturing sites. But while their use has already been authorized in dozens of countries, the vaccine has not yet been approved by American regulators.

Several European countries suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine this week, a precaution because some people who had received the shot later developed blood clots and severe bleeding. But on Thursday, Europe’s drug regulator declared the vaccine safe. AstraZeneca has also said that a review of 17 million people who received the vaccine found they were less likely than others to develop dangerous clots.

halting construction of a border wall, stopping the swift expulsion of children at the border and proposing a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the United States.

But he is clinging to a central element of Mr. Trump’s agenda: relying on Mexico to restrain a wave of people making their way to the United States.

Anticipating a surge of migrants and the most apprehensions by American agents at the border in two decades, Mr. Biden asked President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico in a video call this month whether more could be done to help solve the problem, according to Mexican officials and another person briefed on the conversation.

The two presidents also discussed the possibility of the United States sending Mexico some of its surplus vaccine supply, a senior Mexican official said. Mexico has publicly asked the Biden administration to send it doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

At a news briefing on Thursday, Ms. Psaki said that the discussions over vaccines and border security between the United States and Mexico were “unrelated” but also “overlapping.”

one of the world’s deadliest coronavirus epidemics, would be buoyed by a shipment of doses south.

“Both governments cooperate on the basis of an orderly, safe and regular migration system,” Roberto Velasco, director general for the North America region at Mexico’s foreign ministry, said in a statement, referring to the engagement between the two countries on migration and vaccines.

But he said there was no quid pro quo for vaccines: “These are two separate issues, as we look for a more humane migratory system and enhanced cooperation against COVID-19, for the benefit of our two countries and the region.”

wielded the threat of tariffs against all Mexican goods unless migration was curbed — may have flagged in the waning months of the Trump administration.

From October through December of last year, the number of Central Americans apprehended by Mexico declined, while detentions by American agents increased, according to Mexican government numbers and data compiled by The Washington Office on Latin America, a research organization that advocates for human rights.

“The likelihood of the outgoing Trump administration threatening tariffs again was low, so there was an incentive for Mexico to go back to its default state of low apprehensions,” said Adam Isacson, an expert on border security at The Washington Office on Latin America.

The Biden administration’s appeal to do more against migration has put Mexico in a difficult position. While Mr. Trump strong-armed Mexico into militarizing the border, some Mexican officials argue that his harsh policies may have at times helped lessen their load by deterring migrants from attempting to make the journey north.

signaling that the United States is more welcoming to migrants.

Tuesday statement, the secretary for homeland security, Alejandro Mayorkas, said he was “working with Mexico to increase its capacity to receive expelled families.”

A Mexican law that went into effect in January prohibits the authorities from holding migrant families and children in detention centers, and the lack of space in shelters has become a major problem.

“Shelters are at a near collapse,” said Enrique Valenzuela, a lead coordinator for the government of Chihuahua state’s migration efforts.

Local officials in Chihuahua and shelter operators say that coordination has broken down between Mexican and American authorities. During the last years of the Trump administration, American officials would notify their Mexican counterparts before expelling migrants across the border and would orchestrate the crossings at a handful of well-staffed border checkpoints, they say.

Under the Biden administration, they say, Customs and Border Protection agents now deposit migrants at some of the most obscure, understaffed checkpoints, leaving their Mexican counterparts scrambling when they discover dozens of migrants walking in from the United States.

Local government officials in Ciudad Juárez and shelter operators say Mexico is dialing up operations to capture and deport migrants along the northern border. On a near daily basis, two of them said, Mexican authorities are stopping vans stuffed with families and pickup trucks carrying livestock — along with migrants crouching on the floor to avoid detection.

Part of the reason Mexico is willing to continue cracking down is that, despite being a country that has long sent people north, there is a lot of resentment toward Central American migrants.

“The level of negative attitudes that we have toward migrant flows has gone up, so there won’t be a political cost” for Mr. López Obrador, said Tonatiuh Guillén, who ran Mexico’s National Migration Institute in the first half of 2019. “But with Trump, we negotiated nothing — we gave them a lot and they didn’t give us anything back,” he added, arguing that the strategy should be different with Mr. Biden.

Despite the very public tensions with Mexico under Mr. Trump, Mr. López Obrador has been wary of the Biden administration, concerned that it might be more willing to interfere on domestic issues like labor rights or the environment.

Instead, several Mexican officials say, his government has pushed the United States to deter Central Americans from migrating by sending humanitarian aid to Honduras and Guatemala in the wake of two hurricanes that devastated those countries and, many experts believe, pushed even more people to migrate.

Mexican officials have also asked the United States to send more Hondurans and Guatemalans apprehended in the United States directly to their home countries, rather than releasing them to Mexico, making it even harder for them to try to cross the border again.

While the negotiations over migration may be on a separate track from Mexico’s request for surplus vaccines from the United States, the need for them in Mexico is clear.

About 200,000 people have died in Mexico from the virus — the third highest death toll in the world — and the country has been relatively slow to vaccinate its population. That poses a potential political risk for Mr. López Obrador, whose party is heading into crucial elections in June that will determine whether the president hangs onto control of the legislature.

“Mexico needs cooperation from the U.S. in getting its economy jump-started and getting vaccines to get out of the health crisis,” said Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington. “So there’s room for the two countries to reach agreements based on aligned interests rather than overt threats.”

Michael D. Shear, Jim Tankersley and Ian Austen contributed reporting from Washington, D.C.

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Biden Urges Mexico to Do More to Stop Migration

MEXICO CITY — The Biden administration has been quietly pressing Mexico to curb the stream of migrants coming to the United States, urging it to take in more families being expelled by American authorities and to step up enforcement at its southern border with Guatemala, according to Mexican officials and others briefed on the discussions.

President Biden has moved quickly to dismantle some of former President Trump’s signature immigration policies, halting construction of a border wall, stopping the swift expulsion of children at the border and proposing a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the United States.

But he is clinging to a central element of Mr. Trump’s agenda: relying on Mexico to restrain a wave of people making their way to the United States.

Anticipating a surge of migrants and the most apprehensions by American agents at the border in two decades, Mr. Biden asked President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico in a video call this month whether more could be done to help solve the problem, according to Mexican officials and another person briefed on the conversation.

one of the world’s deadliest coronavirus epidemics, would be buoyed by a shipment of doses south.

“Both governments cooperate on the basis of an orderly, safe and regular migration system,” Roberto Velasco, director general for the North America region at Mexico’s foreign ministry, said in a statement, referring to the engagement between the two countries on migration and vaccines.

But he said there was no quid pro quo for vaccines: “These are two separate issues, as we look for a more humane migratory system and enhanced cooperation against COVID-19, for the benefit of our two countries and the region.”

wielded the threat of tariffs against all Mexican goods unless migration was curbed — may have flagged in the waning months of the Trump administration.

From October through December of last year, the number of Central Americans apprehended by Mexico declined, while detentions by American agents increased, according to Mexican government numbers and data compiled by The Washington Office on Latin America, a research organization that advocates for human rights.

“The likelihood of the outgoing Trump administration threatening tariffs again was low, so there was an incentive for Mexico to go back to its default state of low apprehensions,” said Adam Isacson, an expert on border security at The Washington Office on Latin America.

The Biden administration’s appeal to do more against migration has put Mexico in a difficult position. While Mr. Trump strong-armed Mexico into militarizing the border, some Mexican officials argue that his harsh policies may have at times helped lessen their load by deterring migrants from attempting to make the journey north.

signaling that the United States is more welcoming to migrants.

“They get to look like the good guys and the Mexicans look like the bad guys,” said Cris Ramón, an immigration consultant based in Washington, D.C.

“All the positive humanitarian policies are being done by the Biden administration. ” Mr. Ramón added, “and then the Mexicans are left with the dirty work.”

Mr. López Obrador is also trying to find a way of increasing capacity to house migrants in shelters, which are bursting at the seams. In a Tuesday statement, the secretary for homeland security, Alejandro Mayorkas, said he was “working with Mexico to increase its capacity to receive expelled families.”

A Mexican law that went into effect in January prohibits the authorities from holding migrant families and children in detention centers, and the lack of space in shelters has become a major problem.

“Shelters are at a near collapse,” said Enrique Valenzuela, a lead coordinator for the government of Chihuahua state’s migration efforts.

Local officials in Chihuahua and shelter operators say that coordination has broken down between Mexican and American authorities. During the last years of the Trump administration, American officials would notify their Mexican counterparts before expelling migrants across the border and would orchestrate the crossings at a handful of well-staffed border checkpoints, they say.

Under the Biden administration, they say, Customs and Border Patrol agents now deposit migrants at some of the most obscure, understaffed checkpoints, leaving their Mexican counterparts scrambling when they discover dozens of migrants walking in from the United States.

Local government officials in Ciudad Juárez and shelter operators say Mexico is dialing up operations to capture and deport migrants along the northern border. On a near daily basis, two of them said, Mexican authorities are stopping vans stuffed with families and pickup trucks carrying livestock — along with migrants crouching on the floor to avoid detection.

Part of the reason Mexico is willing to continue cracking down is that, despite being a country that has long sent people north, there is a lot of resentment toward Central American migrants.

“The level of negative attitudes that we have toward migrant flows has gone up, so there won’t be a political cost” for Mr. López Obrador, said Tonatiuh Guillén, who ran Mexico’s National Migration Institute in the first half of 2019. “But with Trump, we negotiated nothing — we gave them a lot and they didn’t give us anything back,” he added, arguing that the strategy should be different with Mr. Biden.

Despite the very public tensions with Mexico under Mr. Trump, Mr. López Obrador has been wary of the Biden administration, concerned that it might be more willing to interfere on domestic issues like labor rights or the environment.

Instead, several Mexican officials say, his government has pushed the United States to deter Central Americans from migrating by sending humanitarian aid to Honduras and Guatemala in the wake of two hurricanes that devastated those countries and, many experts believe, pushed even more people to migrate.

Mexican officials have also asked the United States to send more Hondurans and Guatemalans apprehended in the United States directly to their home countries, rather than releasing them to Mexico, making it even harder for them to try to cross the border again.

While the negotiations over migration may be on a separate track from Mexico’s request for surplus vaccines from the United States, the need for them in Mexico is clear.

About 200,000 people have died in Mexico from the virus — the third highest death toll in the world — and the country has been relatively slow to vaccinate its population. That poses a potential political risk for Mr. López Obrador, whose party is heading into crucial elections in June that will determine whether the president hangs onto control of the legislature.

“Mexico needs cooperation from the U.S. in getting its economy jump-started and getting vaccines to get out of the health crisis,” said Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington. “So there’s room for the two countries to reach agreements based on aligned interests rather than overt threats.”

Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Michael D. Shear contributed reporting from Washington, D.C.

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A Women’s March in Mexico City Turns Violent, With at Least 81 Injured

MEXICO CITY — Hundreds of women marched on Mexico’s seat of government Monday, some carrying their children, others blowtorches, bats and hammers, prepared for a confrontation they hoped would force the country to tackle rampant violence against women.

The International Women’s Day protest was fueled by anger at President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has backed a politician accused by several women of rape in a country that suffers some of the world’s worst rates of gender violence. Despite a rift within the governing party over the issue, Mr. López Obrador has supported the politician ahead of June elections.

As the protesters gathered around the national palace — Mr. Lopez Obrador’s residence and the seat of government — their ire was focused on a metal fence that had been erected to protect the building from being overrun. Women wearing black balaclavas pulled down parts of the barricade as the police fired volleys of flash-bang grenades into the crowd, causing several small stampedes.

At least 62 police and 19 civilians were injured by late Monday evening, according to Mexico City’s security branch.

an average of 10 women were killed in Mexico every day, and there were some 16,000 cases of rape. An investigation by one news site, Animal Politico, found that from 2014 to 2018, only about 5 percent of all sexual assault allegations, including rape, resulted in a criminal sentence.

It is that impunity that has enraged Mexico’s feminists, leading some groups to embrace violence as a tactic to force the nation to pay attention to their demands.

“We fight today so we don’t die tomorrow,” women chanted Monday as they marched across the city to the national palace. Others declared, “The fault is not mine, not because of where I was or what I was wearing.”

Over the weekend, activists spray-painted the barricade around the palace with the names of women killed by their husbands, boyfriends or supposed admirers.

filled the capital’s streets after several grisly assaults against women sparked public outrage, including the killing of a 7-year-old girl who was found disemboweled in a body bag.

A day later, tens of thousands of women stayed home from work in a nationwide strike to protest the violence.

accused of sexual assault by several women. The candidate, Félix Salgado Macedonio, is running for governor in the state of Guerrero, pending a party poll to confirm his candidacy.

On the morning of Monday’s protest, the president again accused conservative groups of co-opting the feminist movement, and claimed that women’s marches had begun only after he took power. He pointed to his own government as a commitment to his struggle for equality, the first cabinet in Mexican history to have half the seats filled by women.

Mr. López Obrador defended the wall his government erected around the national palace. And he said that while he supported the feminist movement, he would not tolerate the violence or the vandalism seen during the women’s march last year.

Ms. Granados and her daughter said the wall felt out of keeping for a president who says he is a man of the people.

“Look, I don’t agree to destroy monuments or damage, right?” Ms. Granados said. “But it is also clear to me that a monument is not worth more than the life of a girl.”

Her daughter, Ms. Puente, piped up.

The wall, she said, “is a contradiction.”

Ana Sosa in Mexico City contributed reporting.

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