I’VE just written a story for this week’s paper about the feared (but apparently ailing) firm of Mexican drug-runners, La Familia Michoacana. Among the many people who quake at the mention of these outlaws are English-language journalists, who face the headache of whether to translate the mob to plain old “The Family” or use the more exotic (and better-known) Spanish name. In the end we stuck to the Spanish original, with a translation in parentheses on first mention. (Reuters does something similar; the Associated Press leaves La Familia untranslated.)
One of Latin America’s most troubled nations has its most popular president
Dec 16th 2010 | SAN SALVADOR
THE mess faced by Mauricio Funes when he was elected president of El Salvador last year suggested he was in for a bumpy ride. Rampant gang violence produced the world’s highest murder rate in 2009. Amid the global financial crisis the economy shrank by 3.6%, one of the biggest drops in the region. El Salvador is not an easy place to govern. Yet 18 months later 79% of voters back Mr Funes, making him Latin America’s most popular leader.
Taking out the leaders of drug gangs has not quelled the mayhem
Dec 16th 2010 | MEXICO CITY
There’s more where he came from
IN A firefight that lasted more than two days and claimed three civilian lives, the leader of one of Mexico’s most feared mobs was shot dead. The victim was Nazario Moreno, nicknamed “The Craziest One”, who headed La Familia (“The Family”), a mafia outfit based in the state of Michoacán. Mr Moreno, author of a spiritual self-help book known as the Family Bible, was tracked down after organising a lavish party that the police got wind of.
MEXICO’S presidential election is still some 18 months away, but candidates are already starting to jockey for position. A poll today in El Universal, a Mexican newspaper, gives an insight into how the race currently stands.