NEWS AND ANALYSIS | AUGUST 8-21, 2011

 

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

2 - DEA AND CIA AGENTS IN MEXICO CRITICIZED

3 - CHICAGO-BASED COMPANY IS ETHICALLY CHALLENGED

4 - MSN PROGRAMS: Contact msn [at] mexicosolidarity [dot] org or (773) 583 7728   

 

Paramilitaries from Orcao destroy Zapatista building. On August 17, 150 paramilitaries associated with the Regional Organization of Coffee Growers of Ocosingo (Orcao) destroyed a community building used by Zapatista base communities and human rights observers in the ejido Patria Nueva in the autonomous municipality of Lucio Cabañas.

 

2 - DEA AND CIA AGENTS IN MEXICO CRITICIZED

Poet and peace activist Javier Sicilia this week called on the federal government to remove DEA and CIA agents from Mexican territory. Sicilia joined mounting criticism of joint intelligence and police training operations involving at least 24 US agents functioning in Mexico, a violation of the Mexican constitution. The Permanent Legislative Committee in Mexico's lower house called for the Calderon administration to explain the presence of US forces.

 


US officials plan to increase training operations, focusing on local and state police, according to the US State Department. Training has been going on for several years and is scheduled to increase this year, according to William Brownfield, assistant Secretary of State for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs. Trainers will be drawn from local border police departments, including Laredo, Texas, under provisions of the US$1.4 billion Merida Initiative. Officials plan to open three or four training centers in Mexico.

 

3 - CHICAGO-BASED COMPANY IS ETHICALLY CHALLENGED

A Mexican lawyer working for Chicago-based Baxter International Inc. was caught on tape offering bribes and free vacations in exchange for altered testimony by an expert witness. Baxter claims to be a leader in anti-corruption efforts, yet when the Associated Press confronted the company with the tape recording, spokeswoman Laureen Cassidy offered only a weak justification: "The offer to engage an expert witness was not intended seriously and the lawyer had no authority to offer it or act upon it. It does not constitute bribery under Mexican law and was never acted upon." Unfortunately, Baxter's case appears to be typical for US companies operating in Mexico rather than exceptional.

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