We’re getting closer to justice for the 43 missing Mexican students 

The former mayor of the Mexican city of Iguala has been charged with the kidnapping of 43 students feared to have been murdered last year, a step toward justice in the highly publicized case that sparked violent demonstrations across the country last year.

Tomas Zeron, director of criminal investigations at the federal Attorney General’s office, told Reuters that prosecutors had obtained an arrest warrant for former Mayor José Luis Abarca and 44 others on charges of kidnapping the students.

His name: Antanas Mockus

In 1995 he was elected Mayor of Bogotá. Under Mockus’s leadership, Bogotá saw improvements such as: water usage dropped 40%, 7000 community security groups were formed and the homicide rate fell 70%, traffic fatalities  dropped by over 50%, drinking water was provided to all homes (up from 79% in 1993), and sewerage was provided to 95% of homes (up from 71%). He had a reputation for honesty. When he asked residents to pay a voluntary extra 10% in taxes, 63,000 people did so.

How he lowered traffic fatalities: First, he painted the streets with 1,500 or so stars, each signifying where a pedestrian was struck by a car and ultimately died.  But that wasn’t enough. So Mockus surmised that his constituents were not motivated by fear of being struck by a car, but could be motivated by embarrassment and/or shame.  So he trained people to be mimes to mock jaywalkers, and, amazingly, it worked.

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De Blasio Wins Fight To Mass Arrest Peaceful Protesters Without Warning

Two months ago, as peaceful Black Lives Matter protests blocked bridges across the city, a group of federal judges decided that their colleagues should weigh in on a lawsuit accusing the NYPD of wrongfully arresting around 700 Occupy Wall Street protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge in 2011. But yesterday, the same group of federal judges reversed their initial decision, and abruptly dismissed the protesters’ complaint against the police.

Federal Judge Jed Rakoff ruled that their claim was legitimate:A reasonable officer in the noisy environment defendants occupied would have known that a single bull horn could not reasonably communicate a message to 700 demonstrators," Judge Rakoff wrote in his opinion allowing the lawsuit to proceed against the officers who made the arrests. 

The protesters argued that the NYPD led them onto the bridge, allowed them to believe they were engaging in a lawful demonstration, then arrested them without reasonable warning. 

As for evidence showing that officers turned their backs on the protesters and led them onto the roadway, Judge Lynch wrote that “it cannot be said that the police’s behavior was anything more than—at best for plaintiffs—ambiguous, or that a reasonable officer would necessarily have understood that the demonstrators would reasonably interpret the retreat as permission to use the roadway.

The decision sends and extremely chilling message and a green light to the NYPD that I don’t think democracy or free speech can tolerate," says Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, an attorney for the protesters and the executive director for the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund.

Mayor de Blasio ran for office supporting the rights of Occupy demonstrators to speak out; he criticized the Bloomberg administration for violating the protesters’ First Amendment rights," Verheyden-Hilliard says. "Now he’s turned his back on the positions he took as a candidate. He appears to be completely yielding to the NYPD’s consistent request to operate above the Constitution.

The mayor’s office declined to comment on the decision.