Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

Identifican a Diosdado Cabello como jefe del Cartel de los Soles

| January 26th, 2015 | No Comments »
El Nuevo Herald


Leamsy Salazar, un capitán de corbeta venezolano que fue el jefe de seguridad del fallecido presidente Hugo Chávez, llegó el lunes a Washington para colaborar en una investigación de las autoridades estadounidense sobre las vinculaciones entre el chavismo y el narcotráfico.

Salazar, quien pasó gran parte de su carrera al lado de Chávez, llega a Estados Unidos como testigo protegido y podría brindar los detalles más devastadores presentados hasta ahora sobre el chavismo. Según fuentes cercanas a la investigación, en su testimonio el capitán sostiene que la organización de narcotráfico conocida como Cartel de los Soles es dirigida por el presdente de la Asamblea Nacional, Diosdado Cabello.

“Este ha sido el golpe más duro que se le ha dado al chavismo. Este es el hombre que ha brindado todos los secretos. Fue el jefe de Seguridad y jefe de ayudantía de Diosdado Cabello, y ... Read More

Peña en DC

| January 5th, 2015 | No Comments »


La visita que mañana hará el presidente Enrique Peña Nieto a Washington D.C. para entrevistarse con Barack Obama debe significar un arranque de año con el pie derecho.

¿Cómo aprovechar esta oportunidad que tiene el presidente Peña de demostrar a Estados Unidos que México es un país atractivo para invertir, sobre todo en materia energética tras la reforma aprobada el año pasado?

Dado el complicado cierre de año para el país, los norteamericanos deben de estar bastante preocupados por la inseguridad y la corrupción en México. Ingredientes fatales para atraer capitales.

En el marco de lo sucedido en Ayotzinapa, que ha indignado y se ha presentado como la crisis más fuerte en lo que va del sexenio para el gobierno de Peña, el presidente de México tendrá necesariamente que transmitir el mensaje a su homólogo estadunidense de que el nuestro no es un país cooptado por la ... Read More

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

SecDef Chuck Hagel visits Mexico & Guatemala

| April 29th, 2014 | No Comments »
InterAmerican Security Watch



U.S. Secretary of Defense (SecDef) Chuck Hagel recently carried out a three-day visit to Mexico and Guatemala (April 23-26); this was his first visit to Latin America as SecDef since he assumed office. The objective of Hagel’s mini trip was to “affirm America’s commitment” to the region, as a Pentagon spokesman phrased it.

While no groundbreaking agreements were reached, Hagel’s visit comes at a time when U.S. allies in Latin America are feeling forgotten by Washington.

The trips

The first leg of Hagel’s tour was a trip to Mexico. The visit was fairly important as it highlights Washington’s approval of ongoing discussions regarding Mexico’s intention to buy U.S. weaponry. Specifically, the Mexican government is negotiating with Washington the purchase of 18 Black Hawk helicopters in a deal reportedly worth $680 million USD.

It is worth noting that Hagel’s visit to Mexico is the third trip by a senior U.S. official in recent months.President ... Read More

In latest diplomatic bloodletting, Venezuela expels three U.S. diplomats

| February 17th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald


If the past is a guide, the United States is likely to retaliate with a tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsion after Venezuela said it would be ousting three U.S. embassy personnel.

President Nicolás Maduro on Sunday said three unnamed U.S. consulate officials were “conspiring” against the country.

“Go back to Washington and conspire,” Maduro said during an address late Sunday. “Leave Venezuela alone.”

He said the officials had been visiting private universities in Caracas under the guise of offering visas, “but we know they were conspiring,” he added.

The U.S. State Department was closed for President’s Day and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The expulsions come amid growing tensions in the Andean nation. Swelling student protests, which have lasted more than a week, have sometimes resulted in clashes with government security. On Wednesday, three people were killed and more than 60 were injured.

More protests are expected this week. On Tuesday, opposition ... 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

The dark past of a Venezuelan diplomat

| April 27th, 2013 | No Comments »




MIAMI. – More than 20 years ago, attorney Calixto Ortega worked as a litigator in the city of Maracaibo. In 1991 he was involved in a scam that affected the lives of the family members of the victims of a plane crash.

This week it was shocking to hear that the Venezuelan government appointed Ortega as charge d’affaires for Venezuela in Washington.

Meanwhile, the United States government considered this decision as a step in the right direction, as reported by the Associated Press.

The newly elected Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, said that Ortega’s appointment will increase the dialogue between the two countries with a mission to keep in touch with academic representatives, legislators, and U.S. government spokespersons.

Calixto Ortega’s appointment as a senior official at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington did not take into account his lack of preparation in diplomatic affairs. He is a former congressman in the ... 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

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

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