Banda Vagas entertains the audience in Seattle's South Park Duwamish River Festival.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Only a whisper of a breeze drifts off the water on this scorching August afternoon, but temperatures in the 90s don’t wilt the South Park crowd.

Older couples, young parents with their children, even gum-cracking teenagers wait patiently in the shade for the main musical attraction of this year’s Duwamish River Festival: Banda Vagos, a Mexican big band that performs a traditional style of music known as banda.

Nestora Salgado, an activist from Renton who was imprisoned in Mexico, spoke with supporters upon arrival at Sea-Tac Airport.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Nestora Salgado — an activist and grandmother from Renton — is back home. Salgado spent more than two years in a Mexican prison on charges that have now been dropped.  A crowd gathered at Sea-Tac Airport to greet her, as KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

A photo of Nestora Salgado from her website. The caption says it is a photo of her as the leader of the community police.
Courtesy of

Nestora Salgado walked out of a Mexican prison, a free woman Friday. Salgado is from Renton, a mother of three, and a U.S. citizen. But her activism against corruption led to her arrest more than two years ago. 

A photo of Nestora Salgado from her website. The caption says it is a photo of her as the leader of the community police.
Courtesy of

The case of a Renton woman who is jailed in Mexico is getting new attention.

Nestora Salgado was arrested 30 months ago, detained because of her involvement in a community-based police force in the Mexican state of Guerrero.

The Internet had many, many responses to actor Sean Penn's account of meeting Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán, which was published by Rolling Stone on Saturday: shock, anger, derision, astonishment, utter bafflement ...

But from one quarter, at least, there was pure excitement.

"EL CHAPO GUZMAN WEARING BARABAS SHIRT !" was the all-caps announcement from the clothing company Barabas.

During World War II, thousands of Americans lied about their age to enlist in the military. During the Iraq war, Daniel Torres lied about something else.

"I didn't want to be just another Mexican living in the U.S. I wanted to say I'd done something for the country," said Torres.

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán had seen his name in headlines. He knew it graced the world's Most Wanted lists.

But it appears that the notorious drug kingpin wanted something more: He wanted his name in lights.

Nearly six months after his most recent escape from a maximum security prison in Mexico, drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán has been caught, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced via Twitter.

Margarito Perez/Reuters

On New Year's Day, Gisela Mota was sworn in as the new mayor of Temixco, south of Mexico City.

Less than a day later, she was dead. Gunmen had burst into her home, beaten and shot her to death. Two of the attackers were killed in a shootout with the police; at least two others were arrested.

Mota's brutal death is another grim reminder of the violence that grips Mexico. Over the past decade, at least 70 mayors have been murdered and many others targeted, according to Alejandro Hope, security editor for El Daily Post in Mexico City.

José Luis Avila, of Renton, is fighting for the release of his wife Nestora Salgado from Mexico.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

Human rights activist Nestora Salgado raised her family in Renton. She’s a U.S. citizen and a human rights activist.

But most people know her now as a political prisoner. She’s been held in a Mexican prison for more than two years, with limited outside contact.

As it contines to move across Mexico, Patricia has lost most of its strength. It is now a tropical depression with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Flights to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, from Seattle and other West Coast cities were canceled Friday and Saturday as Hurricane Patricia slammed into Mexico’s central Pacific coast.

The most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the eastern Pacific will make a "potentially catastrophic landfall" in southwestern Mexico Friday, the National Weather Service says. Hurricane Patricia is bringing winds that now top 200 mph; it's expected to strike Friday afternoon or evening.

David von Blohn/AP

The lake is the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir, created when the local Grijalva River was dammed back in 1966. The church ended up submerged under water.

But now it's visible again, as the reservoir's waters have receded. The reservoir's level has dropped by more than 80 feet because of a long drought.

Roberta (far right) with her father and two brothers. The younger brother went to Mexico with her parents.
Courtesy of Roberta Lirma

When Roberta Lirma thinks of her childhood, she pictures her whole family together, outside their light brown apartment building in Auburn.

Her dad would be fixing the car, while her mom sat on the stairs and watched Lirma and her two brothers play.

"We would climb trees or go to the store with our friends," she remembered. "I miss that."