Tag Archives: War on drugs

US warships headed to Costa Rica

Militaryless, democratic, non-conflict-having Costa Rica is the new front in the United States’ War on Inanimate Objects. The country’s  national assembly has given the OK for a veritable US invasion force to enter Costa Rican territory: 7,000 marines on 46 warships, including the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship the USS Makin Island, pictured. La Nación quotes a [...]
Posted in Costa Rica, Politics, War on drugs | Also tagged , , | 27 Comments

Money laundering (get it?)

If you read one story today, let it be Michael Smith’s very long and very interesting story in Bloomberg on how Mexican drug traffickers launder money through US banks like Wachovia (now owned by Wells Fargo) and Bank of America. The piece is long and excellent enough to defy excerpting, but let’s give it a [...]
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Gubernatorial candidate assassinated

Hitmen have assassinated the PRI candidate for governor of Tamaulipas State, Rodolfo Torre Cantú. Torre was gunned down along with six others at about 10:30 this morning on a highway on the way to a campaign event. Drug mafias are assumed to be responsible. [link]
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Bomb goes off at U.S. consulate

Someone threw a bomb at the U.S. consulate in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. The incident took place at night, so no one was injured. The small device broke some glass. No word yet on what it was or who is taking responsibility. It’s the second recent attack on U.S. government personnel/installations after three people related [...]
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Whither the wrath of the Empire?

It’s all well and good that the U.S. and Mexico are chummy and joining forces to fight crime and whatnot. But I seem to recall that the reason Hillary & Co. made a rush visit to Mexico – the last straw, let’s say – was that three people connected to the U.S. Consulate in Juárez [...]
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Good point

Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego told a group of journalists that Mexico should legalize the consumption of drugs. He’s apparently suggested this before, to the Fox administration, to no avail. But aside from the broad idea that prohibition never works, he’s making a specific appeal to basic fairness: Salinas Pliego said that the United States [...]
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‘Magic wands’ not so magic

Mexico spent $10 million on drug-and-explosives finding “magic wands” that basically don’t work. The UK is trying to block the company that makes the GT 200 from exporting any more. Here is what should have been Mexico’s first clue that it had been conned: Promotional materials on the Internet describe the GT 200 as a [...]
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Whack-a-mole

According to a report from the U.S. State Department, drug cultivation in Mexico has soared recent years, massive drug war notwithstanding. Here’s Malcom Beith’s crunching of the numbers: In 2005, the year before Calderon took office, Mexico cultivated 3,300 hectares of opium poppy. In 2006, it was 5,000 hectares. In 2007, it was 6,900 hectares. [...]
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Military abuse

Amnesty International is reiterating its call for the Mexican government to start doing something about the horrible crimes its military is committing in the pursuit of its war on drugs at the border. Specifically, the organization cites a case in Chihuahua in which three Mexicans were picked up by 10 soldiers and never heard from [...]
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“We are all Juárez”

Is Mexico’s border war on drugs over? Last week, Calderón made a trip to Ciudad Juárez in an attempt to stem the political fallout from a massacre in which narcos gunned down 15 innocent youths. He was met with angry protests. In his speech, he talked about a new strategy for combating crime there, including [...]
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  • DAILY LINKS

    • The Nation has a long, wonky, wonderful article on Mexican maize cultivation, the effects of NAFTA, and the dangers of genetically-modified seeds. Author Peter Canby backs up his excellent writing with piles and piles of meticulous research. Not to be missed. [link, via SM] (Image from Joel Penner.)

    • Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas ended his hunger strike yesterday after 134 days. Farinas decided to end his strike after the Cuban government said it would release political prisoners rounded up in the "Black Spring" crackdown of 2003. Get well soon. [link]

    • The Uruguayan selection, which has made it to the quarter finals of the World Cup, just received a shipment of half a ton of fine cuts of beef for the mother of all asados in preparation for a contest against Ghana on Friday: "450 kilos of lomo, 200 of entrecot, 75 of vacío, 75 of colita de cuadril, 150 of ojo de bife and 50 kg of picaña." [link]

    • Hitmen have assassinated the PRI candidate for governor of Tamaulipas State, Rodolfo Torre Cantú. Torre was gunned down along with six others at about 10:30 this morning on a highway on the way to a campaign event. Drug mafias are assumed to be responsible. [link]

    • From the days when coups were something of a regional sport, new documents detail a famous British ballerina's role in a plot to topple the government of Panama. The plan was to use her yacht to gather men and arms, then "land somewhere and collect in the hills." It didn't work. [link]

    • Mexico's Attorney General's Office has posted on its web site irrefutable evidence that gold-plated AR-15s and diamond-studded pistol grips are not nearly as cool-looking as they sound. The deadly knick-knack collection is said to belong to Valencia Cartel leader El Lobo. [link]

    • Two Brazilian ranchers were sentenced to 30 years in prison apiece for ordering the killing of an environmentalist nun: "Prosecutors said the pair offered to pay a gunman $25,000 to kill the 73-year-old [Dorothy] Stang because she had prevented them from stealing a piece of land that the government had granted to a group of poor farmers." [link]


    • This video of a kidnapping and car chase in Mexico is notable mainly for the bad-assitude of the TV journalists who were on this like white on rice. Well done, gentlemen.

    • The Economist takes a peak at the Mockus phenomenon in Colombia: "His moustacheless beard gives him the air of a Baltic pastor... He is financing his campaign with a bank overdraft. His supporters rely on Facebook and make their own posters; street vendors sell unofficial campaign T-shirts." [link]

    • Some cruise lines will cease traveling to Antarctica after this cruise season, as a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil goes into effect next year. The ban came after a 2007 incident when a Gap Adventures ship got punctured by ice and sank, causing a mess. [link]