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Geopolitics

*Happy* Witness: Slain Photographer Camille Lepage Remembered

French photojournalist Camille Lepage was killed at the age of 26 in the Central African Republic. Despite her youth, her passing leaves a huge hole in crisis reporting. Memories from a German friend and colleague.

Camille Lepage in March 2014 in a market in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic. Photo: Christian Putsch
Camille Lepage in March 2014 in a market in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic. Photo: Christian Putsch
Christian Putsch
Christian Putsch

CAPE TOWN — In the evening she always sat at the same slightly wobbly table in front of Hotel Levy’s in Bangui, hunched over her laptop, her camera within easy reach. We, her colleagues, sat at the same table talking about our day in the Central African Republic. Jokes made the rounds, taking a bit of the edge off the pain we’d experienced. But Camille Lepage, usually never at a loss for words, said nothing as she worked with her day's batch of photographs.

She never sent her work out before she had checked the latest photos down to the final details, and captioned each one of them. Her work held her firmly in its grip. Photo by photo, she tried to make this incomprehensible crisis, the conflict between Muslims and Christians, a little more graspable. Few could claim to have done as much first-hand reporting about what has been happening there.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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