Mar 16, 2012

Week's Top Articles on Mexico: Mar. 9-15, 2012

Drug War News this week saw a series of important and game-changing developments. Mexican Presidential Candidate Andres Lopez Manuel Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) announced that if he were to win July's elections, he would halt the US-backed war on drugs, saying that the current model simply "doesn't produce results." AMLO (which is the candidate's popular nickname) said that his administration would instead focus on creating jobs for those without opportunities and battling governmental corruption.  

AMLO's comments make him the latest in a growing number of political leaders from Latin America calling for alternatives to the strategy of interdiction against drug trafficking. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that the war on drugs "is failing" and vowed to lead an honest debate on the topic at the upcoming Summit of the Americas in April. The United States, while steadfastly standing behind the militarization model agreed to participate in the discussion. 

Proponents of the current drug war strategy hope to land a high profile victory in the run-up to this summer's elections by capturing the man who has been identified as the world's most powerful narco: Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. The Mexican government claimed it nearly caught the country's no. 1 fugitive in Baja California last month. Capturing "El Chapo" would mark two major busts this year, as authorities apprehended Erick “El 85” Valencia Salazar, presumed leader of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).

Human Rights and Rule of Law News was highlighted by the tragic and brutal death of Agnes Torres Hernandez, the transgender activist who was murdered by decapitation in Puebla. LGBT groups in Mexico have claimed that this was the sixth murder of a member of that community in Puebla alone this year. 

International human rights groups such as the United Nations and Amnesty International, among others, have criticized the Mexican government for failing "to properly investigate the cases of thousands of people who have disappeared in areas beset by conflict between drug gangs and security forces" and the "chronic impunity" that plagues its justice system. 

Finally, Mexico's leading researcher on governmental corruption, Irma Sandoval, opines about how a new law will allow special interests, most notably big business, to exert more influence in government reform and public works projects. 


Drug War

Lopez Obrador vows to end the war on drugs by creating jobs
La Jornada: If I become president, “we’re going to stop the war (against organized crime) and there will be procurement of justice. We are not going to use this strategy, because it has not produced results. There will be employment, we’ll battle corruption and calm down the country, we know how to do it, I’m sure,” affirmed Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador yesterday. read more

Drug War Violence: Data and Analysis Through 2011
TransBorder Institute: This is the third annual report by the Trans-Border Institute (TBI) on drug violence in Mexico. As with previous reports, the purpose of this study is to examine the available data, specific patterns, contributing factors, and policy recommendations related to growing toll of the drug war in Mexico." read more 

Santos will Encourage Discussion on Drugs in the Summit of the Americas
El Milenio- "After admitting that the fight against drug trafficking 'is failing,' President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, host of the sixth Summit of the Americas, announced today that he will encourage a debate about illicit drugs in the upcoming continental forum April 14th and 15th." read more 

US agrees to discuss drug legalization at regional summit
Colombia Reports: "The United States will discuss drug legalization in a multilateral setting for the first time at the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Colombia.... There is no indication the U.S. position firmly against legalization has changed. "We are ready to discuss the issue to express our opinion on why it is not the way to address the problem," said Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Mike Hammer." read more   

With Near Capture and Exclusive Video, El Chapo in Spotlight Again
InSight Crime: "Authorities in Mexico nearly captured Joaquin Guzman, alias 'El Chapo,' in late February 2012. Along with a rare video showing Guzman at work, the elusive Sinaloa Cartel leader has been unusually visible in recent days. According to an Associated Press exclusive, Guzman narrowly escaped a raid on a mansion in Los Cabos." read more

Who's Tipping Off Drug Lord El Chapo Guzman?
ABC News: Time and again, the U.S. provides Mexican law enforcement with precise intelligence about the safe houses where Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, is hiding. And every time the Mexicans raid a house, the man that the U.S. government calls 'the most powerful drug trafficker in the world' manages to escape at the last minute through the back door." read more

Mexico drug lord's fate is focus of election year speculation
Chicago Tribune: "Reporting from Mexico City— A tantalizing question is spicing up talk shows and opinion columns as Mexican voters prepare to elect a new president: Will the government spring a "June surprise" by finally nabbing Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman? read more

Arrest of “El 85” generates chaos in Guadalajara, Mexico
Justice in Mexico: "On Friday March 9th, members of the Mexican Army captured Erick “El 85” Valencia Salazar –alleged leader of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, and Otoniel “Tony Montana” Mendoza, allegedly second in charge of the same organization. The army ... conducted a precise operation in Zapopan –the wealthiest municipality of the Metropolitan Zone of Guadalajara– in the state of Jalisco, where the two leaders of CJNG were captured." read more

“Zetas” Bribe Police with payments of up to 600 Thousand Pesos
El Universal- "Commanders of the Federal Investigation Agency (AFI) and the Federal Prosecutor’s Police Office (PFM) received between 60,000 ($4,735) and 600,000 pesos ($47,357.40) per month in order to move police off the highways of Coahuila and notify the organized crime group, Los Zetas, about the actions of the armed forces ordered to combat them, informed the Mexican Attorney General’s Office (PGR). read more

Human Rights and the Rule of Law

Autopsy Reveals Activist Agnes Torres was Killed by Decapitation
El Milenio- "The State’s Attorney General’s Office in Puebla confirmed the murder of Agnes Torres Hernandez, political activist and transgender, who was found dead on a slope near a Puebla highway after being decapitated." read more

U.N. criticizes Mexico on drug war disappeared
Houston Chronicle: "'The Mexican government has failed to properly investigate the cases of thousands of people who have disappeared in areas beset by conflict between drug gangs and security forces," the UN said in a report published on Wednesday. Mexico has no protocol to register the disappearances, has poor procedures to identify corpses and the justice system is wracked by chronic impunity, the report by the United Nations said." read more

Amnesty International Says Forced Disappearances a “Recurring Pattern” in Mexico
Latin American Herald Tribune: "Amnesty International said Thursday that forced disappearances once again have become a “recurring pattern” in Mexico, blaming the scourge on “official inaction.” To support its allegations, the London-based human rights group alluded to a recent report from the U.N. ... that underscores the “terrible scale of this grave violation of human rights in Mexico” amid the country’s current climate of violence. read more

A Requiem for Public Control in Mexico
La Jornada: "The ominous proposal ... to privatize jails and prisons has become part of the profit motive and predatory logic of public services that has left the national economy in ruin over the last 30 years. The horrible daily reality that is lived in penitentiaries, which was cruelly manifested in the recent prison break and massacre in Apodaca, Nuevo León, isn’t a result of bad public stewardship. Rather, it is the fault of the federal and local governments that have abdicated the administration of these facilities and left them to the control of private actors and powerful factions." read more

No comments:

Post a Comment