Jul 18, 2010

War on drugs

The "Drug War" never stands still. This week a journalist investigating the drug war wins a prize for courage, the Mexican cartels reach Australia, two U.S. men arrested in Mexico allege abuse by the Mexican army and a car bomb is added to the cartel's repertoire of violence. 

Car Bomb in Mexican Drug War Changes Ground Rules The first successful car bombing by a drug cartel brings a new dimension of terror to a Mexican border region... The attack, seemingly lifted from an al-Qaida playbook, demonstrated once again that the cartels are a step ahead of both an already guarded public and federal police, who have recently taken over command from the military of the battle against traffickers in Ciudad Juarez. July 17, 2010, AP

Inside Mexico's Drug War, Americans Allege Abuse Two Americans were driving back to El Paso, Texas, last December from Ciudad Juárez. A few blocks from the border, they were surrounded by Mexican army trucks and pulled from their Dodge Ram. Mexico's military says it found two suitcases full of marijuana in the cab of the pickup truck.... Those two men—Shohn Huckabee, 23 years old, and Carlos Quijas, 36—are being held in a Ciudad Juárez jail. They tell a different story about what happened that night. They say Mexican soldiers planted the marijuana in their truck. When they arrived at the military base, they say, they were blindfolded, tied up, hit with rifle butts, shocked with electricity and threatened with death. July 17, 2010, Wall Street Journal

Details on Delivered and Pending Merida Initiative Equipment and Training On May 18, 2010, Senator Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), the Republican minority-party leader of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a detailed report evaluating U.S. aid to Mexico since the 2007 launch of the Mérida Initiative. This report included a very detailed table of aid that has been delivered, or is pending delivery, through the State Department's International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE) program. Here is a summary of some of the information. July 14, 2010, Just the Facts 

Mexico Link in Australian Cocaine Seizure  A Mexican drug cartel may be behind a huge cache of cocaine whose seizure by Australian police will choke local supply and push up prices. Police and Customs last month intercepted the shipment of more than 200 kilograms of the drug, which was hidden inside selected concrete pavers. With a street value of at least $84 million, it was the fifth largest cocaine bust in Australian history. ... It is understood the cocaine was made in Colombia or Peru then shipped to Port Melbourne from Mexico. July 14, 2010, Sydney Morning Herald

On the Border: Award Winning Journalism Despite the danger, the Dallas Morning News’ Alfredo Corchado investigates violence and corruption along the border between the United States and Mexico. He recently received the Lovejoy Award for courage in journalism, bestowed annually by Colby College in Waterville, Maine. American Journalism Review, June/July, 2010  

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