Aug. 13, Mexico’s Drug War Draws in Women
NYTimes.com: Aug. 13, Damian Cave: "The number of women incarcerated for federal crimes (in Mexico) has grown by 400 percent since 2007, pushing the total female prison population past 10,000. No one here seems to know what to make of the spike. Clearly, the rise can partly be attributed to the long reach of drug cartels, which have expanded into organized crime, and drawn in nearly everyone they can, including women. Detained lieutenants for cartels have told the police that some act as lookouts. Other women work as drug mules, killers, or as “la gancha” (the hook), using their beauty to attract male kidnapping victims."
Foreign Policy: "Policymakers responsible for the U.S. assistance effort in Mexico seem to be applying some lessons learned during America's decade of war. The intelligence analysis centers the U.S. contractors are now setting up in Mexico are innovations developed by U.S. forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, and elsewhere. ... Increasingly more convenient are civilian substitutes such as CIA paramilitaries, contractors, and hired proxies. Mexico has long had severe cultural and legal prohibitions on a foreign military presence, especially from the United States. As we can see in Mexico ... the U.S. government now has a well-established workaround."
Los Zetas, who earned a reputation for brutality by gunning down thousands of Mexicans in the battle for drug-smuggling routes to the United States, now control much of the illicit trade of moving migrant workers toward the U.S. border, experts in the trade say."
Aug. 14, The Widening Dragnet
NYTimes.com: "The Obama administration has decided to stick with Secure Communities, the discredited but rapidly growing immigration-enforcement program that has helped it deport a million people in the last two and a half years. And not only stick with it, but force it down the throats of state and local leaders and law-enforcement officials, including the governors of New York, Illinois and Massachusetts, who have rejected the program, saying it is badly flawed and does more harm than good.
msnbc.com: "Addiction is a chronic brain disorder and not simply a behavior problem involving alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex, experts contend in a new definition of addiction, one that is not solely related to problematic substance abuse. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) just released this new definition of addiction after a four-year process involving more than 80 experts.
"At its core, addiction isn't just a social problem or a moral problem or a criminal problem. It's a brain problem whose behaviors manifest in all these other areas," said Dr. Michael Miller, past president of ASAM who oversaw the development of the new definition. "Many behaviors driven by addiction are real problems and sometimes criminal acts. But the disease is about brains, not drugs. It's about underlying neurology, not outward actions.""
... William Brownfield, assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, said it is clear that local forces face the most concentrated violence, especially in northern Mexico, and are in the most need of training. ... Brownfield was in the Texas border town of Laredo on Wednesday, signing an agreement outlining how deputies from the Webb County Sheriff's Office could spend periods of three months, six months or more training their counterparts in Mexico.
It was the first such agreement the State Department has signed with a local law enforcement agency anywhere on the U.S.-Mexico border. Brownfield said more trainers are needed and the high rate of bilingual deputies with border experience made Webb County an attractive place to start such a program.