Astronomers have become the latest victims of Mexico's violence with activities at two observatories being reduced because their staff suffered crimes while travelling to the remote mountain sites, researcher said Thursday.
The problems occurred near the Alfonso Serrano Large Millimeter Telescope, or LMT, in the central Mexico state of Puebla. It is the world's largest single-dish steerable millimeter-wavelength telescope and is jointly run by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Mexico's national institute of astrophysics.
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"The University of Massachusetts Amherst has suspended travel of UMass personnel to the LMT site, and we have retained security consultants to advise us on security risks in the area and strategies to deal with these risks," he said.
Mexico's astrophysics institute said in a statement that "the unsafe conditions that prevail in the region are well known and public," adding "we have notified the appropriate authorities about the crimes its employees have reported. "
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The other affected site is the HAWC gamma ray and cosmic ray observation facility. The HWAC is an international collaboration between more than 30 institutions in Mexico, the United States, and Europe.
Both are located on the Sierra Negra volcano near the Pico de Orizaba, Mexico's highest peak, where the clear air and lack of nearby.
The area, around...
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