Dec 18, 2014

Slowdown in China Bruises Economy in Latin America

NYTimes: Few people are as intensely worried about the slowing Chinese economy as Latin Americans.

Not only does China buy nearly 40 percent of Chile’s copper, but its once-insatiable demand helped push copper prices from $1 to $4 a pound. Read more.

How Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel Fed US Heroin Market

El Universal (Translated by Borderland Beat): The Sinaloa Cartel has taken control of New York’s heroin market, replacing Colombian and Asian groups as the principal supplier of the drug, according to an investigation by the Dromomanoscollective, winner of the Ortega y Gasset Journalism Awards.

Jeen Blake, a 40-year-old truck driver, drove from Queens, New York to Riverside, California. The cross-country trip, which took at least 42 hours, had an extremely profitable end: deliver $750,000 in exchange for 15 kilos of heroin.

Blake, an employee of the company Good Guys Transport Corporation, spent a week driving. His truck was filled with the soles of shoes in which some of the drugs were hidden. The rest was concealed in square packets located in secret compartments. After driving 4,800 kilometers, the driver entered New York this past August 26, without knowing that he was being monitored as part of a special operation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the state police.

Soldiers killed in the war on drugs

News Week Español (Translated by Americas Program):  Since former President Felipe Calderon launched the war against drug cartels, 209 soldiers have died in armed clashes, and 1,760--from privates to corporals, second and first sergeants, lieutenants and colonels-- have been wounded in shootings. In some cases, they have been discharged from the the Mexican Army due to the severity of injuries.

From January 11, 2007-just 41 days after Calderon of the PAN  took control of the country from Vicente Fox--to October 2, 2014, there have been 3,520 clashes with members of criminal organizations involved in drug trafficking , extortion, kidnapping and exploitation for sexual and labor purposes.

In just the first 10 months of this year, according to information from the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena), 234 battles left   15 military elements dead. The latest was a death in San Martín Hidalgo, Jalisco, on September 24, when a convoy of armed men opened fire and in the exchange of fire also killed four of the attackers. Another occurred in Mier, Tamaulipas, where there is dispute over control of the plaza (trafficking route) between the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, Sept. 17. Two incidents took place in Tepehuanes, Durango, when an ambush and subsequent confrontation occurred between military and probable drug traffickers in the Guanaceví neighborhood.

Dec 17, 2014

Federal Judge Rules Obama Immigration Measures Unconstitutional

Latin American Herald Tribune:  A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Tuesday ruled unconstitutional President Barack Obama’s recent executive action to temporarily protect from deportation more than five million undocumented foreigners, the decision coming as part of a court decision on the case of a Honduran immigrant charged with DUI.

Judge Arthur Schwab, appointed to the bench by former Republican President George W. Bush, justified his ruling on the legality of the presidential decree because the accused in the DUI case, 42-year-old Elionardo Juarez-Escobar, could – in his judgment – benefit from Obama’s executive action.  Read more.

Mexico's Vigilantes Resurface, Faulting Government For Failing To Take Down Knights Templar Cartel

International Business Times: Mexico’s vigilantes are back, and angry. The so-called self-defense groups that rose up against drug cartels in the turbulent state of Michoacán last year regrouped over the weekend, took up AK-47s, and blocked roads in several cities, announcing their return in full force -- a development that underscores how the security situation in parts of Mexico is still dire, despite the president's two-year-old promise to fix it. 

The vigilantes, known as “autodefensas,” took over roads in six cities across Michoacán state on Sunday, saying the federal government was failing to protect them from the Knights Templar cartel and another organized crime group known, strikingly, as Los Viagras. The vigilantes, many of whom for months have been part of a specialized military unit called the Rural Defense Forces, also complained about not receiving salaries or adequate support from the state. Read more.

Oil price falls to lowest level in five years

BBC World: Oil prices fell to the lowest price of the last five years.

According to the reference, a barrel of Brent, the price is below $ 60 a barrel for the first time since July 2009.
Analysts say the slowdown in emerging economies has affected the demand in a time when supplies have increased.
The oil price has almost halved since hitting in June the maximum price of $ 115 per barrel.
Translation: Americas Program

Judge orders release of two women involved in the case Tlatlaya

CNN México (Translation Americas Program):
© Photo: provided no incriminating MP for conclusions detained in an operation in the This ... Photo: MP presented no incriminating for conclusions detained in an operation in the State of Mexico where 22 people died
A judge ordered Monday the immediate release of two women who were arrested last June 30 in Tlatlaya, State of Mexico, during a supposed operation  of the federal authorities which killed 22 people, stated a bulletin from the Council of the Federal Judiciary (CJF).
The women, held at the Federal Women's Social Rehabilitation Center in Tepic, Nayarit, were charged with collection of firearms and possession of firearm cartridges for the exclusive use of the Army, Navy and Air Force.