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Mexico Bans Jungle Animals In Circuses

MEXICO CITY — Legislators in Mexico have voted to forbid the use of jungle animals such as elephants, big cats or monkeys in circuses across the country, threatening fines equivalent to over $220,000 for offenders, Spain's EFE agency and Latin American newspapers report.

The ban, applicable nationwide, is already in force in Mexico City and certain states such as Chihuahua in northern Mexico and Quintana Roo on the Caribbean. The bill empowers the federal government to create norms on the humane treatment of animals, and it obligates circuses to provide the Environment Ministry with a list of all their wild animals "with their characteristics."

The legislation was partly driven by recognition that large animals need particular foods and care conditions. In 2013-14, government inspectors carried out 96 checks, found 54 "irregularities" in circuses, and confiscated 117 animals from their owners, either for cruel treatment or uncertain origins, EFE reports.

Photo: Graeme Churchard

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Migrant Lives

When Migrants Vanish: Families Quietly Endure Uncertainty

Zimbabweans cling to hope even after years of silence from loved ones who have disappeared across borders.

illustration of a woman in nature contemplating a framed picture of an older woman
Illustration by Matt Haney, GPJ

HARARE, ZIMBABWE — Blessing Tichagwa can barely remember her mother. Like hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans, Noma Muyambo emigrated to South Africa in search of work, leaving baby Blessing, now 15, behind with her grandmother.

The last time they saw her was nine years ago, when Blessing was 6. Muyambo returned for one week, then left again — and has not sent any messages or money since.

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