Ibero-American News Digest
Sealing the U.S.-Mexico Border vs. Weapons and Drugs
April 2 (EIRNS)Five cabinet-level officials from the U.S. and Mexican governments held a closed-door meeting in Cuernavaca today to hammer out details for the creation of a cross-border working group with the mission of generating strategies to stop illegal arms trafficking across the border.
An estimated 90% to 95% of the weapons used by the drug cartels in their war against Mexico, come from the United States, and both governments are determined to work together to shut that traffic down. High-power military weapons of the most modern type pour across the border in astounding quantities2,000 a day, according to Gen. Barry McCaffrey (ret.)leading to a death toll of some 1,600 in the first three months of 2009 alone.
Present at the meeting were Attorney Generals Eric Holder and Eduardo Medina Mora, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Interior Minister Fernando Gómez Mont, and Public Safety Genero García Luna.
At the end of the meeting, Medina Mora announced also that Mexico will spend $1.4 billion to modernize border-crossing inspections of incoming traffic, to equip Mexican ports of entry with "non-intrusive" technologies (x-rays, scales, etc.) to inspect cargo. As of two weeks ago, U.S. Customs officials began scanning rail cars on the way out of the United States, instead of just on their way in, at the eight railroad crossings between the two countries. When U.S. officials see something suspicious in the X-ray, they alert Mexican law enforcement, which intercepts the rail cars in Mexico.
It is exactly these kind of measures, applied in force, which Lyndon LaRouche has emphasized can shut the trade down, provided enough resources are thrown into the fight, quickly. Gen. McCaffrey, who identified the urgency of the U.S. moving on this fight last December, last week told Newsweek that for the first time in years, the President and Cabinet officers are engaged on this fight, but "resources commensurate with the problem" are needed. What has been proposed so far, falls far short of what's needed.
British Hysterical That Mexico Has a Patriotic President
March 30 (EIRNS)Provocative interviews with Mexican President Felipe Calderón by the City of London's Financial Times and the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC), display the British Empire's hysteria over Mexico and the United States joining forces against London's Dope, Inc. Lyndon LaRouche commented that Mexico finally has a patriotic President, whatever else his flaws, and for the Brits, LaRouche said, "this wasn't supposed to happen."
The March 27 Financial Times painted the Mexican President as "outspoken" in protest of U.S. aid to Mexico, a story so distorted the Mexican Presidential office issued a communiqué "categorically denying" some of the statements attributed to the President.
On March 30, BBC attempted to get Calderón to attack the U.S., and to support drug legalization. They got nowhere on either account.
BBC asked Calderón's opinion of The Economist's drug legalization proposal, to which the President responded, as he has done before, that drugs, and the addiction they cause, are the "slavery of the 21st Century." Legalization, he said, "implies surrendering and accepting that several generations of Mexican children and youth would simply fall into drug use." Obtaining drugs "would be as simple as buying a candy or a cigarette."
He went on to describe how the cartels turn eight-year-old children into addicts, who "rob from their mothers, their neighbors, join a gang, and [become] killers for the criminals. This is a cycle of ... slavery that must be broken, and I don't think that simply legalizing will improve that situation."
Asked about the change in U.S.-Mexico relations, Calderón remarked: "There has been a change, a positive change. President Obama's government has a different attitude," and "a very clear will and commitment to collaborate with Mexico.... I think, he added, "that the visit of Mrs. Clinton, and then of President Obama, will be the beginning of a new era in U.S.-Mexican relations."
Mexico Turns to IMF, Brits, as Revenues Plummet
April 1 (EIRNS)In the first two months of 2009, Mexican government revenues from the VAT sales tax fell by just under 22%, a monetary reflection of the rate of collapse of basic consumption, including of food, in the country. Income tax revenue fell by 6.2%, as compared to the same period in 2008, according to the Treasury Ministry, and remittances sent back by Mexican workers abroad were also down, by over 3.5% compared to the same period in 2008, escalating over the course of 2008. Remittances are Mexico's second-largest source of foreign exchange, after oil; combined with the VAT and income tax collapse and the vaporization of international capital generally, these are the makings of yet another collapse of the peso and national bankruptcy.
Treasury officials' assurances that plummeting government revenues would be largely covered by profits from derivative contracts on their oil revenues (!) were belied by the announcement today that Mexico has asked the IMF for a "preventive" $47 billion credit line, "just in case," on top of a similar $30 billion "preventive" credit line from the U.S. Federal Reserve, and $80 billion in foreign reserves.
British imperial interests find this an excellent moment to grab Mexico's resources directly, if they can. Prince Philip personally escorted President Felipe Calderón on a four-hour visit today to British Petroleum's headquarters in Aberdeen, Scotland, where the Lord Mayor of the City of London held a luncheon in his honor. Calderón and his Energy Secretary, Georgina Kessel, promised that the reforms passed in the oil sector now permit foreign investment in Mexican oil (despite the fact that this violates the Mexican Constitution), and asked for British investments.
Anti-Drug Official: Soros Behind Argentine Drug Decrim Plan
April 1 (EIRNS)José Granero, the head of the government's anti-drug agency, Sedronar, told the daily Clarin that if people want to know what's behind the current debate over decriminalizing drugs for personal consumption, they should look at George Soros, whom he described as "one of the big money launderers."
Forget about the "stupid progressivism" that argues that drug decrim is a more "humane" policy, which will supposedly offer addicts better treatment, rather than prosecuting them for breaking the law, Granero said. "Soros is promoting decriminalization of personal drug consumption in many countries around the world, and I don't rule out that he's also behind this here in Argentina."
Granero is right on the mark. As the LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM) has been saying in its daily organizing in front of government office buildings in downtown Buenos Aires, it is the Nazi-trained Soros and the NGOs he finances that convinced President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to embrace decriminalization for personal use as more effective than the U.S.-backed war on drugs. Justice Minister Anibal Fernández has been trumpeting the Soros "harm reduction" fraud at every opportunity, in the President's name.
As soon as the Supreme Court rules that the clause in the national drug law that criminalizes drug possession for personal use, is unconstitutional, the government is expected to submit its own decriminalization bill to the Congress. The brawl over this policy, in which the LYM has played a crucial role, is such that the Supreme Court, originally scheduled to rule in February, has delayed its ruling to an unspecified date. Although all of the Court's magistrates support decrim, President Ricardo Lorenzetti reportedly wants to write his own personal opinion, carefully explaining that "support for drug decriminalization is very different from decriminalizing drug trafficking, as some sectors that reject the ruling have insinuated," Clarin reported.
Drug Decriminalization Would be Genocide in Argentina
April 1 (EIRNS)The George Soros crowd argues that decriminalizing drugs is a more "humane" policy. You can't beat drugs, so go with "harm reduction" instead.
Claudio Izaguirre of the Argentine Anti-Drug Association reports there are 180,000 children in Buenos Aires who are addicted to "paco," the highly addictive crack cocaine-like drug whose consumption is reaching epidemic proportions. Almost all of these children have tuberculosis, and work as prostitutes to pay for their drugs. Funding for drug-treatment centers has collapsed in the country, while drug consumption has soared. "Drug consumption has quintupled in the entire country, added to which is congressional cutting of the budget earmarked for prevention campaigns," Izaguirre says.
The Argentine government argues that by not having to spend money on arresting and putting through the court system those who only buy drugs for personal consumption, it will have more money to spend on ensuring that addicts and consumers get proper medical help and counseling.
That's bunk, says José Granero, head of Sedronar. Asked why anti-drug strategies have failed, he responded that the drug trade "moves $500 to $600 billion annually. That's a sum that will soften up anyone. We have to generate a social consciousness about the problem, and the fight is a political decision, not one of laws. To say that decriminalization will save money on court proceedings, and that those savings will be used in the fight against drugs, is stupidity."