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New feature of mine on VICE.com about Nova Scotia’s own Marriott and Melvin families

Nathaniel Janowitz : November 17, 2015 8:01 pm : Blog/News/Updates/Whatever

The Bizarre, Violent Story of Nova Scotia’s Real-Life Trailer Park Boys

… and after a series of arrests, are the Marriotts and Melvins finally finished killing?

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When the police finally got Jimmy Melvin Jr. out of a seedy motel room in Bedford, Nova Scotia following a tense six-hour standoff in July 2006, it was too late to save face.

Melvin Jr. had been a wanted man for weeks, and police had asked the public for help in tracking him down, labelling him as armed and dangerous. But when he ended up in police custody after being picked up in a bar-fight, he pulled a typical Ricky-from-Trailer-Park-Boys maneuver, tricking the cops by lying about his identity and presenting a fake ID. While in the drunk tank in Digby, he then told officers he had information about the wanted Jimmy Melvin Jr.’s whereabouts. The misled officers transferred him to the Halifax Police, who spent several hours hunting for Jimmy Melvin Jr. with Jimmy Melvin Jr.

Only after releasing him did they realize the man who they had been cruising around with was actually the man they were looking for in the first place: a person of interest in the recent murder of a member of the Marriott family—a neighboring clan that had worked both with and against Melvin’s family for years in the local drug trade.

At the time, the two clans were in the midst of a multi-generational feud, one that had come to an explosive new peak when both Jimmy Melvin Sr. and Jimmy Melvin Jr. had been released from prison earlier in 2006. And though it appears that the two families had at one point been aligned (via a crack ring circa 2002), the subsequent murder of a Marriott made it clear this alliance was no more.

With Melvin Jr. finally arrested, the cops had gotten their man. But this would hardly be the end of the saga, nor any sort of new beginning. Just another in a long line of ridiculous and bloody moments that turned the Spryfield wars between the Marriotts and Melvins into a Hatfield-McCoy type legend. READ MORE.

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New on VICE News: With Guatemala Encroaching, Belize Heads to the Polls

Nathaniel Janowitz : November 4, 2015 7:19 pm : Blog/News/Updates/Whatever

Belize goes to the polls today after a campaign that has focused on fears that whoever forms the next government of the tiny Central American nation may have to fend off a major push by neighboring Guatemala to absorb half of its territory.

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“The first duty and obligation of any government is the preservation of the nation state, the protection and defense of our territorial integrity, our national sovereignty,” said Francis Fonseca, leader of the opposition People’s United Party, or PUP. Fonseca has been playing the nationalist card in his bid to oust incumbent Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his United Democratic Party, or UDP.

The border issue was re-ignited by last month’s presidential elections in Guatemala in which former comedian and winning candidate Jimmy Morales emphasized his intention to intensify his country’s long-standing territorial claims over Belize. READ MORE

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New on VICE News: The Hunt for Mexico City’s Dog Killer Continues

Nathaniel Janowitz : November 4, 2015 7:15 pm : Blog/News/Updates/Whatever

Mexican Police Investigation Into Poisoned Dogs Continues Amid Fear and Suspicion

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“I miss him so much,” Lorena Vázquez said of her beloved dog Lukas who died of a heart attack after a walk in a Mexico City park. “Now I just want to see justice done and find out who or what was responsible so nothing like this ever happens again.”

Up to 18 dogs reportedly died suddenly after being walked in Parque México in the city’s swanky and cosmopolitan Condesa neighborhood over the course of the week spanning the end of September and the beginning of October. Four additional dogs have since perished, according to local media.

With the uncertainty continuing, the playground of some of the country’s most loved and pampered pets is now infused with gossip and fear, while police efforts to find the so-called Mataperros, or Dog Killer, are getting nowhere fast and beginning to look like a witch hunt. READ MORE

 

 

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New on VICE News: ‘La China,’ Female Leader of Sinaloa Cartel Assassin Squad, Captured in Mexico

Nathaniel Janowitz : October 26, 2015 6:52 pm : Blog/News/Updates/Whatever

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“In one documented case, which has been said to be their typical modus operandi, La Gaby pretended to be drunk outside of a bar, falling down, with her skirt nearly above her waist. When the intended target stopped to try to help the woman, La China emerged from the darkness, guns blazing. READ MORE”

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New article published with THUMP: “You start seeing military motherfuckers with the police, its not cops, its military motherfuckers with AK-47s. What’s going on? Where’s the war?”

Nathaniel Janowitz : July 23, 2015 1:29 am : Blog/News/Updates/Whatever

Military Police in Guatemala Crackdown on its Mayan-Inspired Psytrance Scene

 

 Mayan culture is currently experiencing a resurgence in the Latin world and beyond, and Guatemala’s Lake Atitlan, an important spiritual energy point for Mayan culture, has become a place foreigners go to try and connect with the ancient wisdom the Maya are known for holding.

The lake is home to the Tz’utujil, one of the 21 ethnic Mayan groups that still live in Guatemala. Many around the lake only speak Tz’utujil, and traditional dress and ceremonies are common practice

The area has also become a mecca of sorts for the psychedelic trance scene, dance music’s patchouli-scented cousin swathed in sweaty communalism and hallucinogens alike. The all-night raves that come along with that culture have attracted the attention of not just partygoers, but the government.

In 2012, the government of Guatemala passed a law that all bars and restaurants must stop serving alcohol at 1AM. However, in the epicenter of the psytrance and tourism scene around the lake, San Pedro La Laguna, they took it a step further and enforced a law that music must be shut off in public establishments at 11pm in an attempt to end the raves. They were the only municipality in the entirety of Guatemala to enforce this law.

“It’s becoming like an authoritarian police state,” says Byron Molina, an American ex-pat deep in the local dance scene. “You start seeing military motherfuckers with the police, its not cops, its military motherfuckers with AK-47s. What’s going on? Where’s the war?” (READ MORE)

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