July 2009 Issue
RUSSIA: The courtroom gallery brimmed with lawyers during the trial in January of four men accused of murdering Anna Politkovskaya, a reporter for the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta who was gunned down in 2006 at the elevator of her Moscow apartment.
The newspaper had paid a high price for its investigations into political corruption. In 2000, another Novaya reporter had been beaten to death with hammers on a Moscow street. Three years later, the paper’s managing editor died mysteriously from something that caused his skin to peel off.
MEXICO: In the early morning hours of May 17, 2008, Willy Moya had just closed the V-Bar, one of several popular nightspots he owned in the Pronaf section of Ciudad Juarez, when a couple of friends wandered in and told him they were hungry. Moya decided he could use a bite, so he offered to send one of his bodyguards out for pizza.
Even in ordinary times, Moya had a few bodyguards. But this was no ordinary time in Juarez. The Mexican city of 2 million was averaging more than 100 murders per month.
In the 1990s, Russia embraced the rule of law. Today, many fear the grip is slipping.
As a border town becomes a murder capital, Mexico pushes for dramatic rule-of-law changes.
As a key agency all but disappears, judges take prosecutor discipline into their own hands.
As the law changes and new medical frontiers open, the dispute over genetic patents intensifies.