Latin American Program in the News: Americas summit host, Colombian President Santos, ambitious for wider clout as regional leaderApr 12, 2012
As the date of the Americas Summit comes closer, the leadership role of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the region, has been under deep scrutiny. Dr. Arnson says that Santos "has adopted a much more pragmatic and distant approach".
Mexican President Felipe Calderon arrives in La Habana for his first official visit to Cuba. The visit comes just eight months before Calderon’s term concludes, despite a lengthy list of pending bilateral issues for the two countries.
On Tuesday Authorities captured alleged drug lord Guatemalan Horst Walther Overdick. “His capture is certainly a welcome development, but its impact on drug trafficking in Guatemala or levels of violence overall remains to be seen. In Mexico, the strategy of going after drug kingpins has been one of the factors contributing to the rise in violence,” Director of the Latin America Program Cynthia Arnson told the Associated press. [Original Article in Spanish]
Mexican law-enforcement officials routinely parade detainees in public ‘perp walks’ and news conferences in the hope of regaining the trust of a citizenry besieged by organized crime.
“Caracas is the most dangerous capital city in the world, more dangerous than Baghdad,” says Fellow Roberto Briceño Leon, who heads the Observatorio Venezolano de Violencia, a non-government watchdog that monitors crime in the country… Crime has also become more organized and lethal, Briceño Leon says. Chavez’s policies have also facilitated the increase. The president has taken over a number of local police forces, while weakening state governments, especially those whose leaders belong to the opposition.
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The Arizona Republic criticizes the state’s government for failing to capitalize on the international business benefits offered by its border with Mexico. In comparison, Texas has exploited the benefits of the border and its exports to Mexico greatly eclipse those of Arizona.
Mexico may make serious headway in its fight against organized crime by designating one criminal group as the "most violent," and then focusing most of the government's resources against them, according to a new report by the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
This year’s presidential election will be particularly interesting because of what is at stake. Mexico’s young democracy is at an important crossroads.
Aiding regional governments with intelligence and training, air and sea patrols, and guiding the interagency process are essential to beating organized crime. SOUTHCOM Commander Douglas M. Fraser discusses strategies to dismantle extortion, kidnapping, and drug-running bands.