War on Drugs

News and Analysis: October 17-23, 2011

1 - POLITICAL PARTIES SPAR AHEAD OF ELECTIONS
2 - NEARLY 1,000 POLICE FIRED IN VERACRUZ
3 - ALABAMA IMMIGRATION LAW WREAKS HAVOC IN SCHOOLS AND FARMING
4 - CALDERON COMPLAINS ABOUT DUMPING CRIMINALS AT BORDER
5 - FORMER PRESIDENT FOX CALLS FOR NEGOTIATIONS WITH CARTELS
6 - CALDERON SUGGESTS ADVENTURE TOURISM FOR INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES

The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) filed a largely ritual complaint this week with the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), accusing President Felipe Calderon of interfering with the 2012 presidential elections.  In an October 15 New York Times interview, Calderon suggested the PRI may cut deals with drug cartels, similar to agreements reached by party members when they ruled Mexico for seven decades.  Mexican law technically prevents sitting presidents from influencing elections, but complaints of this type are typical in election seasons.

Meanwhile, Enrique Pena Nieto, the likely PRI presidential candidate, called for privatization of Pemex, Mexico’s national petroleum monopoly.  The PRI nationalized petroleum in 1938 under President Cardenas, perhaps Mexico’s most beloved political figure.  Now 70 years later, Pena Nieto appears to have contracted the neoliberal bug, claiming the country would benefit from foreign investment – and ownership – in the oil sector.  Historically this has not been a popular position, either within the PRI or in the broader society.  This may be part of Pena Nieto’s campaign strategy to distance himself from the historic PRI while benefiting from the political clout and national structure of the party.

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News and Analysis: October 10-16, 2011

1 - DECREASE IN CENTRAL AMERICANS ENTERING MEXICO
2 - INTERNATIONAL CHARGES PENDING AGAINST PRESIDENT CALDERON
3 - ECONOMY STAGNANT
4 - U.S. MAY IMPORT WATER FROM MEXICO
5 - REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES OFFER BORDER “SOLUTIONS”
6 - CARTEL LEADER ON PRISON HUNGER STRIKE, SORT OF

Mexican immigration authorities report a drop of 70% over the past five years in the number of Central Americans crossing Mexico to reach the US.  The estimate is based on dramatic declines in the number of Central Americans detained in Mexico without documentation, from 433,000 in 2005 to 140,000 last year.  The downward trend continued this year, probably due to a combination of poor job prospects in the US and dramatic increases in cartel violence, including kidnapping, rape, forced labor and murder, directed against Central Americans as they cross Mexico.  More than 60% of Central American migrants pay human smugglers, with costs ranging as high as US$10,000.

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News and Analysis: September 19 - October 2, 2011

1 - ZEDILLO SUED FOR ACTEAL MASSACRE
2 - U.S. GENERAL CLAIMS “SHARED RESPONSIBILITY” FOR DRUG WAR
3 - FAST AND FURIOUS GETS MORE COMPLICATED
 
A small group of relatives of victims of the infamous Acteal massacre are suing former President Ernesto Zedillo in US District Court in Connecticut for his complicity in the killings of 45 indigenous and the subsequent cover-up.  Zedillo thought he was living in relative obscurity, teaching part time at Yale, but a Miami-based law firm tracked him down in a wealthy New Haven neighborhood.  The 1997 massacre by paramilitary groups acting in concert with local military authorities resulted in the forced resignation of then-Governor Julio Cesar Ruis Ferro and Interior Minister Emilio Chuayfett, but Zedillo finished his six year term in 2000 largely untouched.  The Zedillo administration has long been suspected of complicity, if not outright coordination of the crime.  According to the suit, Zedillo conspired with former Attorney General Jorge Madrazo Cuellar to hide the President’s links to this and other covert operations. 

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NEWS AND ANALYSIS AUGUST 1-7, 2011

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN - HTTP://ENLACEZAPATISTA.EZLN.ORG.MX/
2 - SICILIA BREAKS OFF, THEN RESUMES GOVERNMENT NEGOTIATIONS
3 - TOP PROSECUTORS RESIGN EN MASSE
4 - FEDERAL SECURITY AID RETURNS TO CIUDAD JUAREZ
5 - DRUG DEALER CLAIMS TIES TO DEA
6 - SIXTEEN COUNTRIES OPPOSE ANTI-IMMIGRANT LAW IN ALABAMA
7 - US INCREASES ROLE IN MEXICO’S “WAR ON DRUGS”
8 - SENATE APPROVES NEW MEXICAN AMBASSADOR
9 - NRA CHALLENGES GUN REPORTING REGULATIONS
 
1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN - HTTP://ENLACEZAPATISTA.EZLN.ORG.MX/
•The Junta de Buen Gobierno in La Realidad denounces attempts by political parties and the ejido Monte Redondo to displace Zapatista support bases from their lands in the autonomous municipality Tierra y Libertad.
•Political prisoners from San Sebastian Bachajon who were recently released from prison are suffering harassment and threats.

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Marisela Morales
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