War on Drugs

Mexico News and Analysis: May 30 - June 5

1 - INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION CRITICIZES FAILED "WAR ON DRUGS"

2 - CARAVAN FOR PEACE CONDEMNS VIOLENCE AND CORRUPTION

3 - PRI LEADER ARRESTED IN TIJUANA

4 - PEMEX SUES US COMPANIES FOR ILLEGAL OIL IMPORTS

5 - OBAMA CHANGES CHARACTER OF IMMIGRATION RAIDS

6 - RENE ARCE SWITCHES TO PRI

7 - CHIAPAS "MODEL CITIES" QUICKLY DISINTEGRATING


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Mexico News & Analysis: Oct 29-Nov 4

WHY IS MEXICO ABSENT FROM US ELECTION DEBATE?
This coming week, about half the eligible voters in the United States will participate in a quadrennial exercise in limited democracy by electing 435 Representatives, one-third of the Senate, and a President - all wealthy, mostly white and male, and inevitably beholden to one sector of the capitalist class or another. Political commentators recently noticed that, aside from a few brief mentions of migration and Latino voters, Mexico has not been part of the electoral debate.  Why ignore our neighbor to the south? 

Well, from the perspective of the US capitalist class, Mexican affairs are very much in order, thanks largely to sitting President Felipe Calderon and his National Action Party (PAN).  For the past six years, Calderon has been a loyal minion, defending free trade agreements, maintaining a neoliberal economic agenda by cutting social spending and sustaining a relatively balanced budget, waging an increasingly violent “war on drugs,” and acting as US surrogate in Latin American political circles. Occasionally the US will step over a line that even the PAN can’t overlook, generating a few carefully measured words from Calderon, almost always delivered to the Spanish-speaking media - for example, when the Border Patrol murders Mexican citizens, not an uncommon occurrence.  But for the most part, US authorities say jump, and Calderon responds with “how high.”  Mexico’s political wagon is hitched securely to the US capitalist class, and as a result, Mexico boasts some of the wealthiest capitalists in the world, while more than half the country lives in poverty. 

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Mexico News and Analysis: October 1 - 7

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN166
2 - FEDERAL POLICE SUSPECTED IN CARTEL ATTACK ON C.I.A.
3 - FRIENDLY FIRE BLAMED FOR BORDER PATROL DEATH
4 - PROTESTERS PUT INCOMING PRESIDENT ON NOTICE

The Junta of Good Government in the northern zone of Chiapas issued an unprecedented third public denunciation of armed attacks, displacements, threats, robbery and intimidation directed against Zapatista support bases from the community Comandante Abel. Paramilitaries from the communities Union Hidalgo and San Patricio are responsible for the illegal activities. A detailed description is available at http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/.

2 - FEDERAL POLICE SUSPECTED IN CARTEL ATTACK ON C.I.A.
Federal police working for a major drug cartel are suspected in the August 24th ambush of two CIA agents working near Cuernavaca in central Mexico. Police apparently knew the agents worked for the CIA and specifically targeted them under orders from the Beltran Leyva cartel, according to knowledgeable Mexican and US officials. The attack on an armored SUV with diplomatic license plates wounded two CIA agents after hundreds of rounds from high-powered weapons were fired at close range, overwhelming some of the armor plating.

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News and Analysis: April 30 - May 6, 2012

1 - MAY 19 DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH ZAPATISTAS
2 - ANTITRUST COMMISSION BUCKLES BEFORE CARLOS SLIM
3 - WALMART UPDATE
4 - MEXICO APPROVES COMPENSATION FOR CRIME VICTIMS
5 - NEW BI-NATIONAL POLICE ACADEMY OPENS IN PUEBLA
6 - POLITICS OR SOCCER?

The Mexico-based National Network against Repression and for Solidarity called for coordinated protests on May 19 in solidarity with the Zapatista movement.  While the Zapatistas continue to build autonomy and resist neoliberalism, the Chiapas state government of Juan Sabines Guerrero has implemented a strategy of low intensity warfare.  Zapatista communities are under constant attack, particularly the community of Nuevo Paraiso in the Garrucha zone of Chiapas.  The National Network demands an end to the war against zapatismo.  Zapatista communities are not alone!  An attack on Zapatista communities is an attack against all of us!  The Mexico Solidarity Network is a member of the National Network against Repression and for Solidarity, and strongly supports the call for action.

Friday, May 18 at 2PM:  The Centro Autonomo de Albany Park convenes a march in front of the Mexican Consulate in Chicago.

Saturday, May 19 at Noon: The Centro Autonomo de Albany Park calls for educational fliers and a march in the Latino barrio of Albany Park.  Meet at the Centro Autonomo, 3460 W Lawrence Ave, at noon.

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News and Analysis: April 23 - 29

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN
2 - WALMART SCANDAL REVERBERATES
3 - U.S. WEAPONS FLOOD MEXICO
4 - UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRATION DECLINES

On April 24, the Junta of Good Government in the Zapatista caracol La Garrucha published an open letter criticizing attacks on the Zapatista community Nueva Paraiso by neighboring communities affiliated with local politicians.  The attacks began last October and include land invasions, armed attacks, destruction of forests and cropland, and stealing crops.  Damages are estimated at nearly US$40,000, a small fortune for a campesino community struggling for existence.  The Junta accuses local, state and federal authorities of organizing the attacks.  These kinds of attacks against autonomous communities have been increasing in recent years.

2 - WALMART SCANDAL REVERBERATES
WalMart and its allies in the business press and ruling class did their best this week to rescue the transnational corporation from an embarrassing, illegal, and potentially costly scandal.  Mexico’s ruling party first tried to ignore the US$24 million bribery scandal that made WalMart the country’s largest private employer.  On Monday, President Felipe Calderon claimed that if the accusations are true, it would be a local matter since bribes for construction permits would have been paid to municipal and state officials. 

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Mexico News and Analysis: February 20 - March 4, 2012

1 - WAR ON DRUGS “NOT A FAILURE?”
2 - TOURIST OFFICIALS REFRAME SAFETY FOR VISITORS
3 - G20 MEETING IN MEXICO CITY

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano tread this week where politicians have failed for years - trying to prove a positive with a negative.  By characterizing President Felipe Calderon’s war on drugs as “not a failure,” Napolitano highlighted what everyone in Mexico already knows - the policy is a resounding failure.  The comments followed Napolitano’s meeting with Interior Minister Alejandro Poire.  In public remarks, Napolitano fed a campaign theme trumpeted recently by Calderon’s National Action Party (PAN) concerning Chapo Guzman, Mexico’s most powerful drug lord and one of the world’s richest people.  While Guzman remains at large after escaping from a high security federal prison under a previous PAN administration, Napolitano implied it’s only a matter of time before he’s caught.  Some political observers are predicting a capture in April or May, leading up to the July 1 presidential elections. 

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Mexico News and Analysis: February 6-19, 2012

1 - STATE DEPARTMENT REISSUES TRAVEL ADVISORY
2 - BILLBOARD CALLS FOR END OF U.S. WEAPONS IN MEXICO
3 - ANONYMOUS STRIKES AGAIN
4 - U.S. INFLUENCING MEXICAN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
5 - CATHOLIC CHURCH JOINS ELECTION BATTLES
6 - FAMILY OF FORMER CHIAPAS GOVERNOR IN HOT WATER  

In anticipation of Spring Breakers travelling south, the State Department reissued a travel advisory that includes 14 Mexican states, mainly along the US border.  Travel updates have become an annual event in anticipation of thousands of US students vacationing in Mexico in March.  In addition to border states, the latest advisory includes parts of Aguascalientes, Guerrero and Nayarit.  About 50,000 people have been killed over the past five years in drug-related violence, with US citizens accounting for about 400 deaths.  Despite the drug-related violence, Mexico attracted a record number of tourists last year as 22.7 million foreign visitors arrived by air.  These figures do not include the millions of US tourists who travel by land.  Visitors from the US travelling by air declined by 3%, possibly due to increased airline prices since the demise of Mexicana Airline, but Brazil, Russia, China and Peru registered sizable increases over 2010.  Tourism is Mexico's fifth largest source of foreign currency, following migrant remittances, illegal drug sales (mainly to the US market), petroleum exports and maquiladora production.

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Mexico News and Analysis: December 5-11, 2011

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN (http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/)
2 - MARCOS RELEASES FOURTH LETTER TO LUIS VILLORO
3 - MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES BY 21 CENTS A DAY
4 - IMPUNITY AND FAILURE IN CALDERON'S "WAR ON DRUGS"
5 - U.S. BATTERY EXPORTS DAMAGE MEXICAN ENVIRONMENT
6 - PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER EXHIBITS "BRAIN FREEZE"

Residents of Santa Maria Ostula, an autonomous community that established its own police force in the midst of threats from drug traffickers and the army, denounced the kidnapping of J. Trinidad de la Cruz.  (De la Cruz was murdered shortly after the community released their denouncement.)

The ejido San Sebastian Bachejon denounced the Chiapas state government for intervening in community affairs on the side of corrupt local officials.  Members of the ejido re-assumed control last week of a toll booth leading to an eco-tourism facility and established by the community several years ago.

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NEWS AND ANALYSIS: NOVEMBER 7-13, 2011

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN (http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/)
2 - PREDATOR DRONES USED IN BORDER SURVEILLANCE
3 - GOVERNMENT ACCUSED OF WIDESPREAD HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
4 - INTERIOR SECRETARY DIES IN HELICOPTER CRASH
5 - PRESIDENT BECOMES LEAD SALESMAN
6 - CROSS BORDER TRUCKING LARGELY A FAILURE

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN (http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/)

  • Ejido San Sebastian Bachajon denounces violence in Chilon.

  • The Fray Bartolome Human Rights Center denounces two years of violations against two human rights activists.

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Noticias de Juarez- Juventud, el divino tesoro. ¿Será?

Según la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU), ser joven en países con bajo ingreso, alta desigualdad social y problemas de delincuencia organizada, en especial narcotráfico, constituye el mayor riesgo de morir asesinado. Esto sucede con frecuencia en países donde existe la presencia de grupos del crimen organizado y éste es enfrentado por las autoridades o entre grupos rivales como ocurre en varios países de Centro América como Honduras y El Salvador. Así como en México donde se vive una ola de violencia a partir de la puesta en marcha de la estrategia nacional de seguridad, misma que inicio en diciembre del 2006 y desde entonces a la fecha han muerto mas de 40 mil personas, jóvenes en su inmensa mayoría. Todo esto a su vez que los delincuentes del crimen organizado están contratando más a menores de edad debido a la impunidad que gozan en su calidad de detenidos.

Por ejemplo en el estado de Chihuahua, debido al nuevo Sistema de Justicia Penal en el Estado, no se puede juzgar a los menores de edad como adultos, de acuerdo a lo estipulado en le articulo 18 de la Constitución Federal. Mas del 75% de los adolecentes que actualmente cumplen sanciones privativas de la libertad en esta ciudad por delitos graves en los que se incluyen secuestros, violaciones, extorsiones y asalto agravado quedaran en libertad en un lapso no mayor a 5 años.

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