Hillary Clinton Confronts Silicon Valley On Income Disparity, Immigration Reform

April 9, 2014

Hillary ClintonThe Huffington Post, 4/8/14

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is pressing Silicon Valley technology leaders to take a stand on income inequality and immigration reform, calling on companies to invest in training programs and look at public and private solutions to the area’s growing wealth gap.

Clinton, on a swing of West Coast speaking engagements, spoke Tuesday at theMarketing Nation Summit, an annual conference hosted in downtown San Francisco by Marketo, a company that develops cloud-based marketing software.

Following a keynote address that covered topics that included the Ukraine crisis and the power of social media, Clinton sat down for a question and answer session with Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez. Fernandez, who lives in Palo Alto, noted the growing gap in his town: Newly-minted tech billionaires are thriving, while middle-class and working-class families are getting pushed out by skyrocketing housing prices and the elevated cost of living.

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U.S. Shifts Mexico Drug Fight

September 18, 2012

The Wall Street Journal, 9/17/12

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets her Mexican counterparts at a security summit in Washington Tuesday to discuss the next phase in the drug war: how to train the judges and prosecutors that will be trying suspected drug lords.

The Merida Initiative, the U.S.’s $1.9 billion assistance program to Mexico, began mostly as a means to buy military hardware like Black Hawk helicopters for Mexico. But over the past two years, it has entered a new phase, in which purchases for the Mexican military are taking a back seat to measures to mend the branches of Mexico’s civilian government…

Despite the collaboration, one reality can’t be avoided when the leaders meet Tuesday: Mexico still has a long way to go in this second phase of the drug war.

Eric L. Olson, a Mexico expert at Washington think-tank the Wilson Center went to an oral trial in Morelos, one of the first adopters of the new system, and says the hearings reached an awkward moment where a judge was scolding the attorneys for wanting to read from sheets rather than argue properly.

Mr. Olson says the proceedings were a step in the right direction, even if there are missteps. Still, he says: “Both sides have always had difficulty defining what the criteria for success are,” he says. “That has not happened yet.”

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Mexico solicited presence of CIA agents in the country, says Washington (in Spanish)

August 16, 2011

CNN México, 8/16/11

El gobierno de México solicitó que agentes de Estados Unidos realizaran acciones en el país, afirmó este martes el subsecretario de Estado estadounidense, William Burns, una semana después de que un reporte periodístico indicara que elementos de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA, por sus siglas en inglés) laboran en territorio mexicano en actividades como el interrogatorio de sospechosos.

Burns —segundo al mando en el Departamento de Estado, debajo de Hillary Clinton— aseguró en conferencia de prensa en la embajada estadounidense en México que esas acciones están dentro de la ley, respetan la soberanía mexicana y no interfieren con las tareas de seguridad pública de las autoridades.

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Clinton says US ‘sickened’ by brutal Mexico violence

October 15, 2010

AFP, 10/15/2010

The United States is “sickened” by the brutal drug cartel violence in Mexico, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said in slamming a recent attack on an American tourist in the US-Mexico border region.

“This is a terrible tragedy, and obviously, we are sickened by it, as we are with the spike in violence that has gone on in Mexico directed primarily against innocent Mexicans,” Clinton told ABC News in an interview Thursday.

“We have to do even more to try to stem this violence,” she urged, noting that the discovery of the beheaded body of a Mexican official investigating the crime “shows what we’re dealing with.”

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“You cannot pact with the Devil” (in Spanish)

October 6, 2010

Kerlikowske

Dolia Estevez, Poder, 10/6/2010

Richard Gil Kerlikowske, the U.S. Drug Czar, talked with PODER.

Considered one the most loyal supporters of President Felipe Calderón’s war against drug trafficking, Richard Gil Kerlikowske stands out from other members of Barak Obama’s cabinet because he does  not confuse circumstances or emit fatalistic judgements about Mexico. In fact, Kerlikowske was the person assigned the inconvient task of fixing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s diplomatic error when she compared organized crime groups in Mexico to the Colombia “insurgency.”

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Mexican foreign secretary’s “mediocre politics” (in Spanish)

September 28, 2010

Patricia Espinosa

El Universal, 9/28/2010

Oppositions senators characterized the work of the Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa as “lukewarm, mediocre, and gray,”” and five of six parliamentary factions asked for a “change of course.”

The five-hour long meeting was notable for its focus on security and cooperation with the United States in the fight against organized crime. On this subject, Espinosa said that Mexico was an international “example” of success in fighting transnational crime and rejected that there was a “nacroinsurgency,” as various U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have suggested.

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Why Mexico is not the new Colombia when it comes to drug cartels

September 25, 2010

Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times, 9/25/2010

Car bombs. Political assassinations. Battlefield-style skirmishes between soldiers and heavily armed adversaries. Across big stretches of Mexico, deepening drug-war mayhem is challenging the authority of the state and the underpinnings of democracy. Powerful cartels in effect hold entire regions under their thumb. They extort money from businesses, meddle in politics and kill with an impunity that mocks the government’s ability to impose law and order. As the death toll from drug-related violence nears 30,000 in four years, the impression that Mexico is losing control over big chunks of territory is prompting comparisons with the Colombia of years past.

The Colombia comparison, long fodder for parlor debates in Mexico, gained new energy this month when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the tactics of Mexican cartels looked increasingly like those of a Colombia-style “insurgency,” which the U.S. helped fight with a military and social assistance program known as Plan Colombia that cost more than $7 billion.

But is Mexico the new Colombia? Comparisons took on a new urgency after the statement by Hillary Clinton, but a careful look at tactics, targets and the nature of the foe shows they’re apples and oranges. As the Obama administration debates what course to take on Mexico, finding the right fix depends on getting the right diagnosis.

Colombia’s main leftist rebels, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as the FARC, waged war in the name of Marxist ideology, calling for an overthrow of the traditional ruling oligarchy. In contrast, the main aim of Mexican drug gangs is to move merchandise without interference from authorities.

During the worst days of Colombia’s bloodshed, cartel hit men and guerrillas carried out spectacular bombings and assassinations that targeted judges, politicians, police and businesspeople. Mexico, despite a steadily rising death toll, has seen nothing of that nature. Cartel gunmen have killed scores of police and some prosecutors. But they have not been targeted as part of a sustained effort to topple the government. Most of the killing stems from open warfare between heavily armed cartels.

In Colombia, U.S. policymakers put military advisors and special forces troops on the ground to address a drug problem that was largely based on production — one that could be attacked in large measure through wide-scale eradication. But in Mexico, where the problem is equally one of breaking distribution networks, a Plan Colombia-style military role seems far less likely.

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