"Kerlikowske Was Right"
The U.S. drug czar goes off script calling for demilitarization of the drug war, and is corrected by his own office.
http://americasmexico.blogspot.com: Sept 12, "In an interview on Sept. 9 with the Spanish news agency Efe, under the headline Kerlikowske Supports Demilitarization of Counternarcotics Struggle in Mexico, the drug czar said (translated from the original article in Spanish), "Enforcing the law and policing need to be carried out with the police, not the military. The police need to be professional and reliable, and have the trust of the citizenry." The next day, the Mexican daily La Jornada ran the declarations on the front page... On Sept. 10 the U.S. Embassy issued a communiqué from the spokesperson of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which Kerlikowske leads, saying his remarks were "misinterpreted"...
"Anthony Wayne, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Swearing In Remarks"
The new ambassador affirms that the Merida Initiative will be the center of U.S.-Mexico collaboration.
Mexidata Info: Sept 12, "Today, we are working together to address a series of daunting challenges to assure the well-being of the citizens of Mexico and the United States - issues ranging from public health to the environment, from natural disasters to crime and security. Indeed, our collaborative efforts to provide security for citizens and communities on both sides of the border through the Merida Initiative remain a central focus of our shared agenda."
"Mexico Expects U.S. to Accelerate Anti-Drug Aid, Espinosa Says"
Mexico's Foreign Affairs Minister calls for the U.S. to speed up delivery of Merida Initiative aid and urges continuation of security cooperation after 2012 elections.
Bloomberg: Sept. 14, "Mexico expects the U.S. to accelerate the disbursement of aid to strengthen its fight against drug gangs and put back on track a $1.4 billion program that has been hamstrung by delays in recent years, Foreign Affairs Minister Patricia Espinosa said."
"Mexico Drug War: U.S. reassess Drug War aid to Mexico"
House Foreign Affairs Committee examines cartel activities and possible strategies to beef up border security on both sides.
AHN: Sept 14, "The threat to the United States from Mexican drug cartels is increasing as they evolve into a wider variety of crimes," witnesses at a congressional hearing said Tuesday. The House Foreign Affairs Committee held the hearing to consider new strategies against drug cartels as the three-year Merida Initiative expires this year."
Two articles from the Caravan for Peace and Justice demonstrate the crisis situation for many Mexicans and migrants in the country, with shocking first-hadn accounts of violence and impunity.
"Guerrero Protesters Demand Education, Not War"
AmericasProgram: "Several thousand people marched on Acapulco, Guerrero, this past Saturday chanting, “We don’t want war, we want education!” The march occurred during poet Javier Sicilia’s visit to the seaside city as his caravan of drug war victims makes its way to the Mexico-Guatemala border."
Following the uproar over terrorism charges against youth Twitter users, the government is seeking to lower the charges and defuse the situation, as the case against the two becomes more muddled.
"State of Veracruz proposes lesser charges for Twitter terrorism suspects"
latimes.com: Sept 14, "The state of Veracruz in Mexico wants to change its penal code to apply a lower charge against the jailed Twitter and Facebook users accused of terrorism for spreading unconfirmed rumors of an attack on local schools...."
latimes.com: Sept 10, "Cracks are appearing in the case against the Twitter users in Mexico accused of terrorism for spreading rumors of an attack. Local reports and claims suggest that the "panic" that spread over rumors of child abductions at school campuses started at least two hours before the online messages that could put a man and woman behind bars for 30 years. The Veracruz government has not responded to the claims."
Immigration and Border
"National Guard's use on border worrisome, feds report"
In a move that to identify migrants who overstay their visas and could pose "a potential threat to a national security", the Obama administration moves to links immigration and law enforcement data systems.
The Associated Press: Sept 13, "WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is cracking down on immigrants in the U.S. who have overstayed the terms of their visas by using a system that automatically checks multiple national security, immigration and law enforcement databases at the same time, a senior Homeland Security Department official said."
"Guns, Drugs, and Money: Tackling the Real Threats to Border Security"
A paper on border security by UT Professor Josiah Heyman questions the uniformly military/police enforcement model and calls for a closer analysis of threats and challenges, with more focused strategies.