April 29, 2013
New York Times, 4/29/2013
Mr. López played a leading role in what is widely considered the biggest drug-trafficking case in Mexican history. The episode — which inspired the 2000 movie “Traffic” — pitted the Mexican military against the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Throughout the 1990s, Mr. López worked closely with them both. He served as a senior adviser to the powerful general who was appointed Mexico’s drug czar. And he was an informant for the D.E.A.
His two worlds collided spectacularly in 1997, when Mexico arrested the general, Jesús Gutiérrez Rebollo, on charges of collaborating with
. As Washington tried to make sense of the charges, both governments went looking for Mr. López. Mexico considered him a suspect in the case; the D.E.A. saw him as a potential gold mine of information.
April 22, 2013
The Washington Times, 4/19/13
Secretary of State John F. Kerry and his Mexican counterpart touted the growing economic connection between Mexico and the U.S. on Friday, with Mr. Kerry saying that while the security relationship between the two nations remains vital, economic ties are ultimately more important.
“We don’t want to define this relationship with Mexico or with other countries in the context of security or … counternarcotics traffic,” Mr. Kerry told reporters at Foggy Bottom after meeting with Mexican Foreign Secretary Jose Antonio Meade. “We want to define it much larger in the context of our citizens’ economic needs and our capacity to do more on the economic frontier.”
April 10, 2013
Photo by Flickr user Seansie
USA Today, 4/10/13
Tens of thousands of immigrants and their supporters are scheduled to rally outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon as lawmakers inside prepare to unveil the biggest immigration bill in a generation. The demonstration, dubbed the Rally for Citizenship, will feature speeches from immigration rights advocates, labor leaders, faith organizations and members of Congress working on immigration legislation. NAACP President Benjamin Jealous will deliver the keynote address.
The rally will coincide with marches, campaign-style door-knocking events and candlelight vigils in cities from Los Angeles to Orlando to Portland, Maine. Immigration bills have been filed and killed repeatedly since the last major bill, allowing up to 3 million illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens, became law in 1986. But organizers of Wednesday’s rally say the political stars are finally aligned for another one.
March 14, 2013
Former Wilson Center Fellow and Mexico Institute colleague David Shirk testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on border security issues. The hearing, titled “Border Security: Measuring the Progress and Addressing the Challenges,” took place on Thursday, March 14, 2013 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Click HERE to watch a video of his testimony.
March 11, 2013
As lawmakers in Washington continue to negotiate over immigration policies, they’ll have to grapple with a fundamental disagreement about the link between immigrants and crime.
Elected officials from Pennsylvania to Arizona have argued that undocumented immigrants contribute to higher crime rates, but some social scientists tell a different story. They argue that first-generation immigrants actually make their communities safer — and they point to some of the nation’s biggest cities as proof.
February 28, 2013
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, 2/28/2013
At an immigration summit in Washington today, a diverse and bipartisan group of Midwestern business and civic leaders will release a report urging immigration reform to ensure regional and national economic competitiveness. Former Midwest Governors Chet Culver and Michael Rounds as well as former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and Crate and Barrel Co-Founder Carole Segal will discuss the report from a bipartisan task force convened by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Like the rest of America, the Midwest is frustrated with federal immigration policy, and states are coping as best they can,” said Michael Rounds, former governor of South Dakota, and task force co-chair. “But the region’s growing need for immigrant workers and its deepening appreciation of the talent and vitality they bring require Midwesterners to be active in demanding better answers from Washington.”
February 22, 2013
The Economist, 2/22/2013
Until recently it seemed that nothing would disturb the international consensus that the best way to deal with narcotic and psychotropic drugs is to ban them. Codified in a United Nations convention, this policy has proved impervious to decades of failure. Drug consumption has not, in most parts of the world, fallen. Prohibition inflicts appalling damage, through the spread of organized crime, the needless deaths of addicts exposed to adulterated drugs and the mass incarceration of young men.
Now a whiff of change is in the air. Officials in two American states, Colorado and Washington, are pondering how to implement their voters’ decisions in referendums last November to legalize marijuana (cannabis). A dozen countries in Europe and the Americas have deemed the possession of some drugs no longer to be a criminal offense. A few Latin American presidents want a rethink of the “war” on the supply and trafficking of drugs.
November 16, 2012
InSight Crime, 11/7/2012
A recent study by Mexican free trade think tank the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness (IMCO), (co-authored by analyst Alejandro Hope, an InSight Crime contributor) found that if the marijuana legalization ballots passed in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, it could reduce the revenue of Mexican drug trafficking organizations by as much as 30 percent. But as Hope pointed out on Animal Politico, the impact of these measure will depend on the US federal government’s response. Drug legalization activists — and critics — have expressed surprise that US Attorney General Eric Holder did not issue any strong statements opposing the marijuana legalization initiatives as the election approached. This was in marked contrast to the strongly worded statement Holder issued before California residents voted on Proposition 19 in 2010. So far, the response from the federal government remains muted: according to Reuters, the US Justice Department reacted to the measures by stating that its drug enforcement policy had not changed.
November 8, 2012
In April 2011, former Mexican President Vicente Fox sat before an audience at the University of Colorado at Boulder and in his baritone voice and frank tone urged Americans to legalize marijuana. His thrust: it could help enervate Mexico’s violent drug cartels. “The drug consumer in the U.S. yields billions of dollars, money that goes back to Mexico to bribe police and money that buys guns,” Fox said. “So when you question yourselves about what is going on in Mexico, it depends very much on what happens in this nation.”
At the time, many pundits warned that legalization was a non-starter. But on Tuesday, voters in Colorado and Washington state did exactly what Fox called for: they approved landmark amendments to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.