News A heroin user prepares the drug in Zhukovsky, near Moscow

Seventeen-year-old told doctors she had been using the drug for two months

`El Popo' tips ashtray into Mexico City smog

The Aztecs named it Popocatepetl - the Smoking Mountain. When it blew its top on Monday night, its worst eruption since 1925, it spewed smoke, ash, red-hot grit and mud - not lava - but gave a fright to the 20 million residents of Mexico City and the surrounding valley.

Videogate exposes rot at heart of Mexican politics

A week before vital elections, Mexican police are trying to uncover a "dirty tricks brigade" that distributed thousands of doctored videotapes portraying leading opposition candidate Cuauhtemoc Cardenas as a Communist rabble-rouser.

Cycling

Graeme Obree has said he will ride for Scotland in next year's Commonwealth Games if he is sponsored. Obree, 31, has won two world titles and set three world records in the space of four years.

LEGLESS IN MEXICO

Malcolm Lowry came to Cuernavaca to write, but drinking proved his real talent. Charles Nicholl followed his footsteps

Obituary: Emilio Azcarraga

Emilio Azcarraga Milmo was an autocratic billionaire who dominated Mexican broadcasting by combining low-grade television shows with political favouritism.

In Mexico City everyone lives on Surreal Street

Tom Vanderbilt falls for the seductive city where the taxi drivers have taken a vow of honesty

A QUICK GUIDE TO THE REST OF MEXICO

As the third largest country in Latin America, and by far the most populous Spanish- speaking country anywhere, Mexico's popular image in Europe as a baby brother hiding in the shadow of the United States is highly misleading.

Letter: Mexico's model political system

Sir: Phil Davison states that Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party most resembles "the old Soviet Communist Party" due to its long- standing rule (8 May). This fails to acknowledge that for more than 20 years Mexicans have built a strong system of political parties and have enacted an electoral legislation that combines first-past-the-post with proportional representation - which the UK is only beginning to explore.

Something nasty in the backyard

Drugs, crime, anarchy ... John Carlin examines America's growing unease over its corrupt, crumbling southern neighbour

OBITUARY : Gabriel Figueroa

When the Mexican film La Perla ("The Pearl") opened in New York in 1948, the critic of Cue magazine was moved to describe the film as "so beautiful in its imagery, so enthralling in the poetry and rhythm of its marvellously composed scores, that it sets a new high standard for all motion picture photography". The photographer in question, described by the critic as "one of the world's great photographers", was Gabriel Figueroa, a brilliant craftsman who, with The Pearl's director Emilio Fernandez, is generally considered responsible for establishing Mexican films as a leading force in world cinema.

Mexican party sent packing

Mexico's opposition humbled the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in the state of Morelos, stripping the PRI of majority control of the state congress, final results at the weekend showed.

Mexico fears creeping coup as soldiers take police jobs

Some call it "the militarisation of Mexico". Others speak of "a creeping military coup".

Indians pay penalty as police hunt guerrillas

Victor Feliciano, a 12-year-old Mixtec Indian who helped his father grow corn, was dragged from his home by police and troops in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero on 15 February. He has not been seen since.

Shot in the arm for drug drive by Mexico

Mexico City - Mexican officials yesterday announced the capture of a drug lord responsible for tonnes of cocaine entering the United States, just before a US decision on whether to re-certify Mexico as an ally in the drug war.

Mexican party leader ousted

After a string of electoral losses and defections of officials, the head of Mexico's long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party resigned. Santiago Onate Laborde's departure was seen as an attempt to stop the party's grip on power weakening. Insiders blamed him for much of its trouble.
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