Posts Tagged ‘Colorado’

Guatemala Considers Taxing Opium Poppies

| May 8th, 2014 | No Comments »

LONDON (Reuters) – Guatemala is considering the possibility of earning taxes from the sale of opium poppies to help fund drug prevention programmes and other social spending, the country’s interior minister said on Wednesday.

The Central American state is looking at ways to legalize poppy and marijuana production, part of a broader shift in attitudes across Latin America away from the huge financial and social costs of the U.S.-backed war on drugs.

“That is one idea that has been raised,” said Mauricio Lopez Bonilla, a retired lieutenant colonel who served with Guatemala’s special forces, when asked if the government would tax the sale of poppies if it opted to allow their cultivation for medical purposes.

“That option would mean raising taxes, fundamental resources for prevention, resources that could be used by the Guatemalan state for social development,” he told Reuters in an interview.

Almost all of Guatemala’s poppy production is concentrated in three municipalities ... Read More

Legal U.S. Pot Won’t Bring Peace to Mexico

| January 22nd, 2014 | No Comments »


Since Jan. 1, Colorado has had a legal marijuana market. The same will soon be true in Washington State, once retail licenses are issued. Other states, such as California and Oregon, will likely follow suit over the next three years.

So does this creeping legalization of marijuana in the U.S. spell doom for the Mexican drug cartels? Not quite. The illegal marijuana trade provides Mexican organized crime with about $1.5 billion to $2 billion a year. That’s not chump change, but according to a number of estimates, it represents no more than a third of gross drug export revenue. Cocaine is still the cartels’ biggest money-maker and the revenue accruing from heroin and methamphetamine aren’t trivial. Moreover, Mexican gangs also obtain income from extortion, kidnapping, theft and various other types of illegal trafficking. Losing the marijuana trade would be a blow to their finances, but it certainly wouldn’t put them out of business.

But surely Mexico ... Read More

‘They stole our dreams’: blogger reveals cost of reporting Mexico’s drug wars

| April 4th, 2013 | No Comments »
The Guardian UK


For three years it has chronicled Mexico‘s drug war with graphic images and shocking stories that few others dare show, drawing millions of readers, acclaim, denunciations – and speculation about its author’s identity.

Blog del Narco, an internet sensation dubbed a “front-row seat” to Mexico’s agony over drugs, has become a must-read for authorities, drug gangs and ordinary people because it lays bare, day after day, the horrific violence censored by the mainstream media.

The anonymous author has been a source of mystery, with Mexico wondering who he is and his motivation for such risky reporting.

Now in their first major interview since launching the blog, the author has spoken to the Guardian and the Texas Observer – and has revealed that she is, in fact, a young woman.

“I don’t think people ever imagined it was a woman doing this,” said the blogger, who asked to use pseudonym Lucy to protect her real identity.

“Who am ... Read More

Immigration, security to be topics for Obama, Mexico’s Peña Nieto at White House meeting

| November 26th, 2012 | No Comments »
Dallas News


MEXICO CITY — When President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto visits President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday, the two will begin the process of building trust at a critical time, with their two countries facing dicey issues including border security, immigration reform and even the legalization of marijuana, analysts say.

The top question going into their first meeting is whether the two countries will continue to move closer, particularly through cooperation on security, a process begun 12 years ago with the election of President Vicente Fox, who unseated the long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and continued with his successor, Felipe Calderón, analysts say.

“This will be a chance to start a more personal relationship between both presidents while beginning to rebrand and put a new stamp on the relationship,” said Eric Olson, a Mexico expert at the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Washington think tank. “What that new stamp ... Read More

A World Full of Troubles

| November 21st, 2012 | No Comments »
The American Spectator


We’re in a heap of trouble.

I write this while sitting in Colorado, on break from a superb seminar on defense and foreign policy sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and the El Pomar Foundation. The seminar is remarkably free of political finger-pointing and direct criticism — or even mention — of the Obama administration. Most of the material is descriptive and neutrally analytical, rather than politically prescriptive and hypercritical. But the picture being painted of a growingly dangerous world makes any sentient person question the administration’s performance in getting us into such a fix.

Our defense forces are being precipitously and unwisely hollowed out. Our capabilities in intelligence and diplomacy are inadequate. Our policies in several regions of the world are conducive not to American strength and peace, but to weakness and instability.

Take Syria. Patrick Clawson, director of research for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said it is ... Read More

Passage of Marijuana Laws Hurt US Drug War Cred, Mexico President Says

| November 15th, 2012 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

The message to the US from Latin America is simple: Practice what you preach.

Mexican President Felipe Calderón says the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in two U.S. states limits that country’s ‘‘moral authority’’ to ask other nations to combat or restrict illegal drug trafficking.

Calderón says the legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado represents a fundamental change that requires the rethinking of public policy in the entire Western Hemisphere.

Calderón spoke in an interview with the newspaper Milenio that was published Tuesday.

Calderón was joined on Monday by leaders of Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica in calling for the Organization of American States to study the impact of the new laws and saying the United Nations’ General Assembly should hold a special session on the prohibition of drugs by 2015 at the latest.

The president will end his term in office on December 1st. Calderón has been one of the most vocal ... Read More

Mexico says marijuana legalization in U.S. could change anti-drug strategies

| November 9th, 2012 | No Comments »
From the Washington Post


MEXICO CITY — The decision by voters in Colorado and Washington state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana has left Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto and his team scrambling to reformulate their anti-drug strategies in light of what one senior aide said was a referendum that “changes the rules of the game.”

It is too early to know what Mexico’s response to the successful ballot measures will be, but a top aide said Peña Nieto and members of his incoming administration will discuss the issue with President Obama and congressional leaders in Washington this month. The legalization votes, however, are expected to spark a broad debate in Mexico about the direction and costs of the U.S.-backed drug war here.

Mexico spends billions of dollars each year confronting violent trafficking organizations that threaten the security of the country but whose main market is the United States, the largest consumer of ... Read More

Will Latin America become a higher priority during second Obama term?

| November 8th, 2012 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald


MEXICO CITY – There’s agreement across the region that Latin America wasn’t a priority during the first term of President Barack Obama but analysts say there are issues that might raise the profile of Latin America and the Caribbean during the president’s second term.

Among them: trade, potential political change in the region, the potent voting bloc U.S. Hispanics have become, immigration, changing U.S. attitudes toward drug policy and security.

But, in general, regional expectations for meaningful change in U.S. Latin American and Caribbean policy during Obama’s second term were muted.

The campaigns of both Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney “proved that Latin America is not a priority for the United States,’’ said Simon Pachano, a political science professor at the Latin American Faculty for Social Sciences in Ecuador. “Latin America existed when they were looking for Hispanic votes, but it wasn’t present in their foreign policy proposals.”

Anthony ... Read More

Mexico’s new gov to review pot fight after US vote

| November 8th, 2012 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press


MEXICO CITY — The legalization of recreational marijuana in the U.S. states of Washington and Colorado will force Mexico to rethink its efforts to halt marijuana smuggling across the border, the main adviser to Mexico’s president-elect said Wednesday.

Luis Videgaray, head of incoming President Enrique Pena Nieto‘s transition team, told Radio Formula that the Mexican administration taking power in three weeks remains opposed to drug legalization. But he said the votes in the two states complicate his country’s commitment to quashing the growing and smuggling of a plant now seen by many as legal in part of the U.S.

“Obviously we can’t handle a product that is illegal in Mexico, trying to stop its transfer to the United States, when in the United States, at least in part of the United States, it now has a different status,” Videgaray said. “I believe this obliges us to think the ... Read More