Posts Tagged ‘Drug Enforcement Agency’

“Time to listen” to calls for change in drug policies, report says

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

United States military relations with Latin America grow less and less transparent

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for September 19, 2013. See original here and report in question here, in English, and here, in Spanish.]

by David Brooks

United States Special Forces are ever more present in Latin America for jobs of training and intelligence gathering and for other military missions that, along with other US aid programs to the region, are carried out under the heading of the old war on drugs scheme, despite calls for a change in anti-drug policies, a new report on United States security assistance in the hemisphere concludes.

The report, published today by three centers for research and analysis – the Latin America Working Group Education Fund (LAWGEF), the Center for International Policy (CIP) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), which maintain a joint data bank on United States assistance programs for Latin America – shows that although the level of US assistance has been reduced to one of the lowest in a decade, what is of concern is a greater emphasis on less transparent military relations and deafness to the growing chorus throughout the hemisphere in favor of a rethinking prohibitionist drug policies. (more…)

Colombia: The peace process and the international context

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013


((US marines at Turbo, Antioquia, Colombia))

((US marines at Turbo, Antioquia, Colombia))

[Translation of an article from El Turbión of Bogotá, Colombia, for June 7, 2013. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Juan Diego García

For the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean a peace process in Colombia is positive from every point of view. None of them benefits directly from the war and, on the contrary, they view with mistrust and fear the possibility that the conflict might spread to neighboring countries or might be reproduced elsewhere sympathetically.

For all of them, the war imposes too many conditions, and in a negative way, on commercial relations, which have grown markedly in the past few years. The fiscal integration of the nations, an imperative need, is blocked by the conflict. To begin with, communication between the two oceans is key, especially in the direction of the Pacific for countries like Venezuela and Brazil. Stability and a good social climate are important requirements for business to prosper. War as a permanent fixture benefits only those who profit from the arms trade or who practice a primitive capitalism. So peace would eliminate a source of concern for the governments of the region, one that is not at all negligible. (more…)

Mexico: Can lightning strike twice in the same place?

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

((José Francisco Blake))

Second interior minister dies in suspicious plane crash

[Translation of an article from El Faro of San Salvador, El Salvador, for November 14, 2011. See original here.]

By Blanche Petrich

Important pieces of the puzzle that is Mexico these days have again fallen into place. Faced with a new calamity – a helicopter crashed on a hillside, the bodies of eight officials and military officers amid the twisted metal – the figure of President Felipe Calderón is weakened even more. In a period of three years, mourning has befallen his cabinet on two occasions. First a secretary of the interior, Juan Camilo Mouriño, dies in a plane crash (September 21, 2008) [sic. — it was in fact on November 4, 2008] and now José Francisco Blake, his successor, dies in another airplane accident, last November 11.

But can lightning strike twice in the same place? Science and common sense would say that the probability is minimal. But nevertheless…

In fact we can speak of three bolts of lightning, three air “accidents” that kill three cabinet members in a period of only six years and leave strategic national security ministries leaderless during the past two Partido Acción Nacional administrations, if we include the helicopter crash in which José Ramón Huerta, the public security minister in the previous administration of Vicente Fox (September 21, 2005), died. (more…)