Posts Tagged ‘Felipe Calderón’

Ex-leaders demand jailed Venezuela politicians be freed

| May 1st, 2015 | No Comments »

A group of former world leaders has sent an open letter to the Venezuelan government expressing its concern “for the difficult social, economic and political situation” in Venezuela.

The group also urged the release of opposition leaders who were jailed for allegedly inciting violence.

The letter was signed by 26 ex-leaders from Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Venezuela has not yet responded to their appeal

Deadly protests

The signatories are members of the Madrid Club, an independent organisation made up of former heads of state and government.

They include former Brazilian President Henrique Cardoso, the ex-leader of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, as well as former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, Dutch ex-Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers and the former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo.

In their letter, they call for the release of “all those citizens who are in ... Read More

Chile’s Lagos criticizes Venezuela’s Maduro

| April 14th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos is joining more than two dozen other ex-leaders in urging greater respect for human rights in Venezuela.

Lagos complained Monday that Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro hasn’t even allowed the International Red Cross to visit jailed opposition leaders. He says that even Gen. Augusto Pinochet “allowed the Red Cross into Chile,” during his 1973-1990 dictatorship.

“When you see someone who has been held for a year in extremely harsh conditions, or when 100 people, mostly hooded, kidnap a mayor and he ends up jailed without any court order, or when the United Nations says that there are more than 80 political prisoners, then obviously human rights are being violated,” Lagos said after meeting with the wives of jailed Venezuelan opposition leaders Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma.

At least 25 other ex-leaders from Spain ... Read More

Summiting With Raúl

| April 10th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

President Obama arrived in Panama on Thursday for the 7th Summit of the Americas, where he will share the limelight and probably some public interaction with Raúl Castro. Mark it down as another legacy moment for the U.S. President, whose predecessors since 1959 have refused to legitimize the Cuban regime. So many dictators, so little time left before Jan. 20, 2017.

The meet-and-greet continues Mr. Obama’s attempt to reconcile with Cuba’s Communist regime, though the Castros are proving to be hard negotiators—like, you know, the Iranians. Mr. Obama has offered an economic lifeline and the promise of diplomatic recognition, while asking nothing in return. Raúl has responded by raising his demands.

Fidel’s little brother now says he won’t move on normalization until Mr. Obama hands over Guantanamo and takes Cuba off the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. Mr. Obama is waiting for a review of a State Department analysis on the terror list, but he’s ... Read More

Mexico’s Disastrous Drug War ‘Success’

| March 31st, 2015 | No Comments »
The Daily Beast

MEXICO CITY — Back in December 2006, when Mexican President Felipe Calderón decided to launch an unprecedented attack against the drug cartels that had taken over parts of Mexico, the government’s strategy consisted mostly of reckless improvisation. The Calderón administration ignored the scope of the problem, the violence it would unleash and the Herculean effort it would take to control it. But one thing was certain: The main priority would be to capture (or kill) as many drug lords as possible.

After a series of ambitious operations and raids that started in Calderón’s home state of Michoacán, the Mexican government published an ambitious list of 37 names. It was March 2009. Rewards of up to 30 million pesos ($2.5 million, give or take) were offered for “useful and relevant information” that could lead to the downfall of famous cartel leaders like Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán or lesser-known but ... Read More

Colombia Angers Venezuela With Call to Free Jailed Opponent

| January 28th, 2015 | No Comments »
ABC News


Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is taking a tougher line with Venezuela’s socialist government, urging it to free a prominent opposition leader.

The change in tone comes as Venezuela’s deepening economic crisis is leading Latin American governments to reconsider how best to respond to the threat of renewed unrest there.

Since taking office in 2010, Santos had been reluctant to criticize Venezuela, looking to win its support for peace talks with Colombia’s rebels and avoid a return of tensions that led to talk of war on both sides of the border in 2008.

Colombia broke with its hands-off policy late Monday and became the first South American nation to call for the release of Leopoldo Lopez, who has been jailed for 11 months on charges of instigating violence at anti-government demonstrations that rocked Venezuela a year ago.

While the U.S. and European governments have condemned Lopez’s jailing and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s wider ... Read More

Ex presidentes de Colombia, México y Chile asistirán a foro opositor en Venezuela

| January 16th, 2015 | No Comments »
El Nuevo Herald

Los expresidentes Andrés Pastrana, de Colombia, Felipe Calderón, de México, y Sebastián Piñera, de Chile, asistirán en Caracas el 26 de enero a un foro organizado por dirigentes opositores al Gobierno venezolano, informó este jueves la exdiputada María Corina Machado.

“Los tres expresidentes van a visitar a Venezuela en una agenda muy intensa de varios días en la cual podrán tener contacto directo con distintos sectores de la sociedad”, señaló Machado en una rueda de prensa en la capital venezolana.

La dirigente opositora dijo que en el foro “Poder Ciudadano y la Democracia de Hoy” los expresidentes podrán conversar con “familiares y víctimas de la represión y la violación sistemática de los derechos humanos del régimen del señor (Nicolás) Maduro”, presidente de Venezuela.

“Los temas fundamentales precisamente serán el poder ciudadano, las transiciones a la democracia, los desafíos en América Latina, libertad frente al autoritarismo y el populismo, y desde luego, los derechos ... Read More

Mexico: Caught in the crossfire

| October 30th, 2014 | No Comments »
Financial Times

By Jude Webber

Their 43 expressionless faces stare out from a double-page advertisement by Mexico’s government in the national press. The banner headline reads: “Reward”.

But they are not the grainy photos of drug lords with prices on their heads. These underprivileged youths from a rural teacher-training college, missing and feared dead after clashes with local police on September 26 are, as activist priest Alejandro Solalinde says, the brutal reminder that “Mexico is sown with corpses”.

Despite a manhunt for the students and their abductors, the only clues appear to lead to mass graves on the hilltops outside the town of Iguala, 130km south of Mexico City. Residents say the area echoes at night with shots and screams. Pictures on social media of a body dumped in the street after the disappearances spread the horror worldwide: its bloodied face was stripped of skin and its eyes gouged out.

This is not “Mexico ... Read More

Arrest of Suspected Drug Lord in Mexico Is Seen as Symbolic Amid Police Scandal

| October 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times

By Damien Cave

MEXICO CITY — Vicente Carrillo Fuentes was the mediocre heir, the authorities said. He never quite gained the fame or authority of his brother, Amado Carrillo Fuentes — the Juarez cartel’s late founder and the kingpin famous for both flying cocaine to the United States in jumbo jets and dying during failed plastic surgery in 1997.

Instead, Vicente was vicious. Mr. Carillo Fuentes, who was arrested Thursday by Mexican authorities in the northern city of Torreon, ran the Juarez ring with an eye for killing and a thirst for allies, according to American and Mexican officials who have been pursuing him for 14 years.

His was the era when the battle between the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels made Ciudad Juárez as bloody and violent as a war zone. And yet at this point, ... Read More

El legado de Insulza y el futuro de la OEA

| October 8th, 2014 | No Comments »
El Pais


Corría Febrero del año 2011. Un grupo de estudiantes en Venezuela había decidido iniciar una huelga de hambre en protesta contra el gobierno de Hugo Chávez. En Washington, junto con un grupo de estudiantes venezolanos, decidimos apoyar la protesta pidiendo un pronunciamiento de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA). Lo hicimos a través de decenas de cartas dirigidas a cada uno de los embajadores, notas de prensa, y una protesta frente al Edificio principal del organismo, previo a una sesión de su consejo Perrmanente.

Terminada esta sesión, el secretario general José Miguel Insulza nos otorgó una audiencia privada, en la que nos dijo: “Me compadezco con ustedes, yo también sufrí una dictadura en carne propia y tuve que refugiarme en el exterior. Pero tienen que entender, a Chávez no lo van a vencer con cartas, Chávez es un dictador, y en Venezuela hay una dictadura militar”.

Esta anécdota sirve para describir el ... Read More

Mexico’s Energy Reform: So Far, So Good

| September 2nd, 2014 | No Comments »
Inside Sources

By Roger F. Noriega and Felipe Trigos

The enactment of the “secondary legislation” to implement Mexico’s energy reform is an impressive step forward.  That country’s economic future could be fundamentally transformed, if Mexico’s leaders follow through on a transparent, sustained effort to modernize the oil, gas, and electricity sectors and keep government spending and interference from undermining prosperity.

For the first time in 80 years, Mexico has opened the door to private investment in the energy sector, leaving behind years of anachronistic resource nationalism that has contributed to the decline of the state-owned oil company, Pemex, and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).

Insufficient investment in exploration and infrastructure, over-taxation, political interference, union influence, and corruption all have contributed to the decline of Pemex.  From 2001 to 2013, oil production in Mexico fell more than 30 percent. Meanwhile, the CFE has lost almost a billion dollars in 2012 and 2013 for similar ... Read More

Why isn’t Mexico’s security strategy working?

| June 12th, 2014 | No Comments »


Key Points:

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto must recognize that security is not a distraction from his economic agenda and that confronting criminal enterprises is indispensable to the nation’s stability and prosperity. Peña Nieto has not implemented an effective security strategy, and his response to drug violence is uncalibrated and improvised. Mexico should respond more effectively to innovative, globalized cartels and be more receptive to US collaboration so that it can counter criminality fueled by US demand for illicit drugs.

President Enrique Peña Nieto came to power in Mexico 18 months ago promising to reform Mexico’s economy to make it more competitive and prosperous. He also stressed the need to change the controversial antidrug strategy pursued by his predecessor, Felipe Calderón.

Although Peña Nieto has made considerable progress on an ambitious economic agenda thus far, he has been slow to articulate, let alone implement, an alternative strategy for dealing ... Read More

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman: The rise and fall of Mexico’s drug lord

| March 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

It was nighttime in May of 1990, in the heyday of the cocaine boom across America. Twenty Mexican federal police officers and a handful of U.S. Customs agents, acting on a tip, descended on a stucco home on the edge of Agua Prieta, Mexico — a stone’s throw from Arizona. “Policia,” they yelled, guns drawn, before busting down the front door.

The house was empty but looked lived in, with dishes in the kitchen and toys in the backyard. The officers moved quickly to a spacious game room, complete with a bar and a pool table, set atop a three-metre-by-three-metre concrete panel on the floor.

An informant had told them that what they were looking for was under the pool table. They moved it aside and went to work with a jackhammer. Then, a stroke of luck: One of them turned the knob of a faucet and suddenly the floor panel rose into ... Read More

The Most Important Alliance You’ve Never Heard Of

| February 18th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
The Atlantic


In Venezuela, students have been killed while protesting against the government of Nicolás Maduro, who is jailing opposition leaders and just closed a television station that dared broadcast the demonstrations. Argentina is irresponsibly racing toward a dangerous economic cliff. The Brazilian economy is in recession and 2014 will mark its fourth consecutive year of subpar growth, as the country reels from its largest capital flight in more than 10 years.

Is a decade of progress in Latin America coming to an end? For some countries, surely. But not necessarily for the entire region. Four nations are developing an initiative that could add new dynamism to Latin America, redraw the economic map of the region, and boost its connections with the rest of the world—especially Asia. It could also offer neighboring countries a pragmatic alternative to the more political groupings dominated by Brazil, Cuba, and Venezuela.

Amid all the bad news in the region, the presidents of ... Read More

Mexico’s Vigilantes on the March

| February 4th, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times


MEXICO CITY — In the past, Mexico’s revolutions and internal wars have all been eruptions stemming from deep social problems. They unleashed enormous destructive power and took decades to run their course. But they were always followed by long periods of peace and economic development.

The country’s present social unrest has a different source and is of a different nature. If the sweeping economic reforms of 2013 attract investment and are implemented efficiently and honestly (two bigs ifs), the major remaining obstacles to real social progress will be the powerful force of organized crime and the weakness of legal and practical measures to stem it.

Since democracy came to Mexico in 2000, the country has sunk into a cycle of violence fed by intense criminality. Images circulating on social media starkly depict its horrific cruelty. It is true that narco cartels ... Read More

Mexico’s Pena Nieto Is for Reform, Just Not in Cuba

| February 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »


Last February, Mexico’s former president, Felipe Calderon, posted 22 tweets about Yoani Sanchez, the Cuban dissident blogger. Each tweet was more enthusiastic than the last. “Brave activist for freedom,” Calderon called her.

Ten months earlier, Calderon had been in Havana, on an official trip, dining and smiling with Raul Castro. There was no mention of Yoani or any dissidents and, of course, no visit with them. On the recommendation of the Cuban government, the “activist for freedom” was ignored.

Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico’s current president, should have set a different example during his recent official visit to Havana. He has, after all, styled himself as a bold reformer, as he boasted last week in Davos, showing off a plan that would allow private investment in Mexico’s energy sector for the first time in half a century.

Yet Pena Nieto had little to say about Yoani, or Guillermo Farinas, or “Las Damas de Blanco” (the Ladies in White), all dissidents ... Read More

With Drug Cartels Encroaching, Life Has Hardened On The Mexico-Guatemala Border

| January 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino


CIUDAD HIDALGO, MEXICO –  Hugo Rivera, a wide shouldered state trooper with fifteen years on the force and three years of experience in the state border patrol peered through the window of his truck, looking out at the verdant hills in Mexico’s southernmost state, Chiapas. As he drove, Rivera glanced at the cows grazing in a dew-covered field on the side of the road.

“We’re here to prevent crime through our presence,” he explained.

His AR-15 rifle jostled on the seat next to him as he navigated a stretch of puddles and potholes in the narrow road near Mexico’s border with Guatemala. “We see a lot of cases of Central Americans coming up to rob the migrants. The ones with the tattoos stand out. MS-13, [Barrio] 18 – there are a lot of bad guys coming out of El Salvador,” he said.

Out on the Suchiate River, which forms the ... Read More

Mexico’s new drug cartel battle: Self-defense leagues

| January 27th, 2014 | No Comments »
AZ Central-01

Two weeks ago, the Mexican government dispatched federal security forces to the state of Michoacan, which has been besieged by a turf war among extraordinarily violent drug-trafficking organizations.

Raging battles among well-armed gangs, the advent of vigilante self-defense groups, and the inability of local authorities to quell the violence have challenged the security strategy of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who came to office 13 months ago de-emphasizing the threat posed by narcotrafficking.

Michoacan has been the epicenter for violence and turf wars for many years. It was in that state seven years ago where former President Felipe Calderón launched the first operations in his intense effort to fight criminal organizations. Corrupt local authorities never supported these federal efforts, and narcotrafficking has continued to threaten state institutions and the citizen security.

For example, Leonel Godoy, the previous governor, faced several accusations of corruption. His brother and former Congressman Julio Cesar Godoy remains a ... Read More

Spin on Venezuelan star’s murder seeks to obscure rampant violence

| January 14th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald


Latin American leaders don’t know how to stop their violent-crime epidemic, but they sure know how to spin it.

Former Miss Venezuela and telenovela star Mónica Spear and her ex-husband were murdered last week during a botched highway robbery near Puerto Cabello, Venezuela. Their 5-year-old daughter was shot, too, but survived. As the shocking news spread throughout Venezuela and then Miami, where Spear often lived and worked, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro hit a spin cycle I’ve seen countless other presidentes employ after high-profile homicides.

Maduro asserted that Spear’s killing didn’t look like the random, bloodthirsty banditry that has saddled oil-rich Venezuela with South America’s highest murder rate. Instead, he suggested it was a “ sicariato,” a planned assassination. Maduro said he’d “asked police leaders about every detail,” but unfortunately he didn’t offer any.

Which is probably because there aren’t any details of a sicariato to offer. Seven gang suspects have been arrested in the horrific Spear murders.

Evidence ... Read More

Obama traveling to Mexico for North American trade summit

| January 14th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Hill


President Obama will head to Mexico next month for a trade summit with leaders from Canada and Mexico.

The president will travel on Feb. 19 to Toluca, Mexico, to participate in the North American Leaders Summit.

“At the summit, the president looks forward to discussing with Mexican President Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Harper a range of issues important to the daily lives of all of North America’s people, including economic competitiveness, entrepreneurship, trade and investment, and citizen security,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

It will be the first such meeting since the new Mexican president assumed office in late 2012, and the seventh meeting of the group. Earlier in 2012, Obama hosted Harper and then-Mexican president Felipe Calderon in Washington in a meeting that focused on trade, energy, and anti-drug efforts.

During that gathering, Obama said he had prioritized increasing exports to the two nations with which the U.S. ... Read More

Mexico’s Game-Changing Energy Reform

| December 19th, 2013 | No Comments »
Real Clear World-01


What happened in Mexico last week represents one of the biggest global economic stories of the year. It may eventually be counted among the biggest stories of the decade.

By votes of 95 to 28 in the upper house and 353 to 134 in the lower house, the Mexican Congress passed a constitutional reform to allow private investment in the country’s oil and gas industries for the first time since those industries were nationalized in 1938. The measure received strong support from both the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the opposition National Action Party (PAN). As The Economist noted, it “went far beyond initial expectations” and was significantly “bolder” than the energy reform that President Enrique Peña Nieto first unveiled back in August.

Just a few years ago, when PAN leader Felipe Calderón was president, it would have been unthinkable for the PRI to endorse such a radical overhaul of the ... Read More

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