Riot police battling protesting teachers who were blocking a federal highway, Oaxaca, Mexico June 19, 2016 (AP Photo by Luis Alberto Cruz Hernandez).

Two years ago, the state of Michoacan on the southwestern coast of Mexico saw the rise of so-called self-defense groups. These were heterogeneous groups comprised of a mix of locals genuinely exasperated with the authorities’ inability to protect them from organized crime and cells of criminal organizations rivaling the state’s predominant drug cartel, the Knights Templar. Much has changed with regard to self-defense groups since then. In early 2014, federal forces took over security of large parts of Michoacan as the state government had become overwhelmed and largely infiltrated by organized crime. After tense negotiations with the federal government, self-defense […]

The SpaceX Dragon cargo spaceship is grabbed by the International Space Station's Canadarm, April 10, 2016 (NASA photo).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on a range of countries’ space priorities and programs. The Canadian Space Agency and the University of Calgary recently announced plans to study how long-duration space missions affect astronauts’ brains, starting in 2018. In an email interview, Charity Weeden, a fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, discusses Canada’s space program. WPR: What are Canada’s space capabilities, in terms of its domestic public and private space-industrial complex, and who are its major international partners, in terms of space diplomacy and commercial ties? Charity Weeden: Canada has a 54-year history […]