Posts Tagged ‘war on drugs’

The double standard of the Mexican blue helmets

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

x pena nieto[Translation of an article from Proceso of Mexico City for September 24, 2014. See original here.]

by Jorge Carrasco Araizaga

Mexico City – The presidential announcement that the armed forces will participate in United Nations peace-keeping operations shatters the Mexican military’s traditional isolation in international questions. But basically it is a measure that contradicts the soldiers’ and marines’ activities inside the country.

If the army and the navy want to show the world that they are prepared to participate in humanitarian actions by joining the UN blue helmets, they would first have to demonstrate to Mexicans that they are capable of respecting human rights.

Just when the Mexican army is in the midst of a serious controversy over its probable responsibility for the summary execution of civilians in Tlatlaya, in the state of Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto has announced before the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York that Mexican civilian and military personnel will take part in humanitarian missions when requested by the UN and when the intervention has the consent of the country affected. (more…)

“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…)

New bases, old interests

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Establishment of military bases in Chile and Peru reveals United States’ intention to increase influence in the region

[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for July 5, 2012. See original here and related articles here and here.]

by Patrícia Benvenuti

The hope for new relations between the United States and Latin America continues to be ever more distant. Recent activity, in particular the establishment of new military bases, reveals an attempt by the United States to increase its influence in the region.

On April 5, work on the Personnel Training Center for Peace Operations in Urban Zones was completed in Chile. Located at Fort Aguayo, in Concón, in the Valparaíso Region, the base was constructed in 60 days, considered a record time for this kind of project.

The structure consists of eight buildings, which simulate a small city. The cost of the base, financed by the Southern Command of the United States armed forces, was almost 500,000 dollars. The Center will be used for training the so-called Peace Forces of Latin American nations that are part of United Nations missions. (more…)

Brazil: The urgent need to demilitarize the police

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

 

((Brasil de Fato photo))

[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for November 23, 2011. See original here.]

By Eduardo Sales de Lima

What after all is the role of the police in society? Considering this year alone, it is striking how actions of the militarized state police have been marked with “excesses.” Police violence has been seen especially in responses to public political demonstrations (taking as an example the Marcha da Maconha [Marijuana March], where journalists were injured by the police), in the troubled relations between the police and inhabitants of poor communities in large Brazilian cities and, more recently, in the evictions from the rector’s building of the University of São Paulo. (more…)

Mexico will not change its strategy in combatting drug cartels

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Calderón recognizes drug war has stained country’s image

[Translation of an article by Reuters news agency as published in La Jornada of Mexico City for May 14.]

Mexico will not change its strategy in the war against drug trafficking despite the increasing violence generated by drug cartels, which has stained the country’s image, President Felipe Calderón has said.

Calderón took up the war on narcotrafficking when he assumed the presidency in late 2006 by sending tens of thousands of soldiers and federal police to several states of the country.

Conflicts among the criminals themselves and with security forces have raised violence to levels never before seen in the country and have resulted in thousands of deaths, most of them among drug traffickers but also among civilians, including youths and children caught in the crossfire. (more…)