Ciudad Juárez, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua just across the border from El Paso, Texas has a reputation as one of the most murderous cities in the world.
Sandra Rodríguez Nieto, an award-winning Mexican journalist, has has won several international awards for her groundbreaking reporting about the Ciudad Juárez, in particular on the thousands of young people driven into a world of crime and drugs.
We were delighted to welcome her to London to talk about her new book The Story of Vicente, Who Murdered His Mother, His Father and His Sister: Life and Death in Juarez, "a masterpiece of reportage from the murder capital of the world” according to Ed Vulliamy (writer for the Guardian and Observer).
She took part in this event at the Frontline Club with Ed Vulliamy, discussing the poverty, deep levels of corruption, incapacitated government institutions and US meddling that have combined to create an explosion of violence in Juárez.
Last night, an overwhelming majority of UK parliament voted to begin military airstrikes on Syria, proving Jonathan Littell right when he wrote, "it is the fear, even the psychosis, of another jihadi backlash against Western interests – of another September 11 or July 7 – that is driving European and US decision making." Airstrikes will have devastating effects on the Syrian people and can only act as an incentive to further radicalise rebels.
(Photo: Al Jazeera)
We are a society obsessed with productivity, results and performance. Alongside the enormous pressure to work for longer and harder, social inequality has increased. Depression and other mental health issues have reached record highs at a time that we are more interested in measuring happiness than ever.
Has the time come for society to radically reduce working hours and claim our 'right to be lazy'?
The sociologist Stephan Lessenich, co-author of Sociology, Capitalism and Critique and co-director of the German Research Foundation group “Post-Growth Societies”, argues “it is absolutely necessary to articulate a demand that goes against the dominant trend of our times.” Christian Funke examines Lessenich's bold demands.
Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham opened in 2013; since then the independent radical bookshop has gone from strength to strength. Staff are apid a living wage, the bookshop stocks a wide range of excellent titles, and there's also the Five Leaves publishing imprint! Books Combined spoke to Ross Bradshaw, owner of the store and editorial director of Five Leaves Press.
(Five Leaves Bookshop)