Make sure you listen to Mexico Institute’s Director Duncan Woods speak about what the arrest of “El Chapo’ could mean both for Mexico and the United States, here.
For many years, luck smiled upon Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka El Chapo or “shorty.” He dodged death many times. He escaped from a maximum security prison. He outwitted Mexican and US authorities, bent on recapturing him, for more than a decade. He successfully waged war in both Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. He brutally rid himself of internal and external rivals. By the end of his charmed streak, El Chapo was a millionaire many times over and presided over the world’s largest drug trafficking organization, the Sinaloa cartel.
And then yesterday, his luck ran out. Early in the morning, Mexican marines captured him in a small apartment in Mazatlán, a beach resort in northwestern Mexico. Thirteen years after his infamous prison break, the feared Chapo sleeps once again inside a cell.
For Mexico, this is a huge deal for several reasons
If, a handful of years into the future, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States has fallen sharply or zeroed out, the president will deserve all the credit. Mexico’s president, that is.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, no stranger to the tough debate over the nation’s immigration laws, thinks recent legislation passed by Mexico’s Congress, a major priority of President Enrique Pena Nieto, may have set in motion a reversal of the flow of undocumented immigrants northward. In a short time, Perry said in an interview Saturday, undocumented immigrants may be streaming back over the U.S.-Mexico border, headed for lucrative energy sector jobs back home.
“The landscape on immigration is fast changing,” Perry said. “My instinct is that immigration and immigration reform are going to be substantially less of a flashpoint than they have been in the last several years.”
In 2012, after being imprisoned and beaten, a Syrian dissident named Mohammad fled to neighboring Lebanon, where he applied for and was denied a U.S. tourist visa. Intent on rebuilding his life with family in California, he flew to Mexico City and then Tijuana. There, he crossed the U.S. border illegally and handed himself over to a customs official, seeking asylum. Last month, the U.S. granted him that status.
High hopes but low expectations were being expressed by continentalists leading up to the Three Amigos summit among North America’s three not-so-very-friendly leaders. With so little expected, it may be time to take stock of the trilateral relationship, suggests a new assessment published on Tuesday from the Canada Institute and the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington.
Short-term political considerations and personal differences among the leaders mean little may be accomplished at the summit in Toluca, Mexico, panelists said at the unveiling of the report, “Is Geography Destiny? A Primer on North American Relations.” The risk is that the trilateral relationship is being further eclipsed by the two bilateral relationships. Even though Canada-Mexico ties and trade have grown over the past 20 years, they remain inconsequential compared to Canada-U.S. relations and the relationship between the United States and Mexico, which is evolving even more rapidly.
To access our newest publication “Is Geography Destiny? A Primer on North American Relations,” please go here.
Investigators say a man who was shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent near San Diego threw several large rocks at the agent, including one the size of a basketball. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday that the attacker began throwing fist-sized rocks at the agent from a hillside perch. The rocks got larger, and one of the bigger pieces hit the agent in the head.
The sheriff’s department says the agent fired his gun twice Tuesday, fearing that he might be killed or incapacitated if he was hit again. The agent was treated for minor injuries at a hospital and released. The episode has fueled debate about how the Border Patrol should respond to rock attacks.
In the last few weeks, concern over the state’s stability has increased with the arrival of the armed vigilantes on the outskirts of the troubled capital, and their open deliberations over whether to proceed to the center of government power. Equally troubling is the related case of Damian, a prominent ex-politician, civic leader and vigilante ally whose SUV was attacked Jan. 28 by gunmen as he returned from a town meeting in a suburb the autodefensas had recently taken over. At the gathering, Damian openly accused the mayor of Chilpancingo, Mario Moreno Arcos, who was also in attendance, of colluding with organized criminals.
By George F. Will
Distilled to their discouraging essence, Republicans’ reasons for retreating from immigration reform reflect waning confidence in American culture and in the political mission only Republicans can perform — restoring U.S. economic vigor. Without this, the nation will have a dismal future only Democrats can relish: government growing in order to allocate scarce opportunity.
Many Republicans say addressing immigration will distract from a winning focus on Obamacare. But a mature party avoids monomania, and Obamacare’s manifold defects are obvious enough that voters will not require nine more months of reminders.
For the full video from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s speech, go here.
On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Mexican senate withdrew Mexico’s reservation to the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons that allowed military authorities to investigate and punish the crime of enforced disappearance. Conservative President Enrique Peña Nieto, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), requested that the senate abolish the reservation in October, as part of Mexico’s commitments to comply with the Inter-American Court ruling.
While other countries like Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala and Uruguay have made progress with holding trials of cases of forced disappearances, these crimes have remained completely unpunished in Mexico. Forced disappearances have multiplied in recent years as paramilitary militias, drug cartels and human traffickers have become involved in the crime. According to some estimates, there may be 30,000 victims or more.