Monday, July 29, 2013

Mexican Left lambasts poverty war: "a massive failure"

On the day a Mexican admiral is buried & devastating poverty stats are released, the Left speaks out

Guadalajara -
In election years Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is often referred to by foreign journalists as "leftist" or "center left," mainly to distinguish it from the "right" or "center right" or "conservative" National Action Party (PAN), which lost the presidency in last year's contest. In neither instance is the description particularly accurate, at least measured by what those terms typically mean in many other countries. Calling PRI a leftist party is rather like calling the U.S. Democratic Party leftist (admittedly, the FOX network would probably approve).

But everyone can agree that the far Left in Mexico really is so. In the 2012 presidential election a fiery leftist politician, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, carried the banner for a coalition known as Movimiento Progresista (MP). MP was composed of three different parties which shared common visions for Mexico: Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), or the Democratic Revolution Party; Partido del Trabajo (PT), which is the Workers' Party; and Movimiento Ciudadano, the Citizens' Movement. MP lost last year's election, but it performed much better than expected, easily pushing aside PAN to capture second place, with just under 32% of the ballots cast.

53.3 million - that's how many Mexicans live in poverty

Government programs have accomplished little, notes Peña Nieto cabinet secretary

*Updated Oct. 16 - extreme poverty by state*
Guadalajara -
Two weeks ago MGR reported that over 60% of Jaliscans earn less than a mere subsistence income.

In practical terms what that means is that their income is under 6,900 pesos (about $550) per month, the estimated minimum needed for food, household products, fuel, transportation costs, basic services and children's educational needs. Even skilled or better educated workers who earn two or three times the minimum wage of $5 dollars per day fall short of the mark. That's why University of Guadaljara researchers recently reported that "Jalisco residents can't afford basic necessities, much less enjoy themselves, or save something back."

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mexican vice admiral killed in further Michoacán violence

His wife is seriously injured in the latest attack, as the narco dominated state spirals out of control

Guadalajara -
A Mexican vice admiral was killed in an ambush in warn torn Michoacán state today, the Secretary of Marine and Naval Forces announced late this afternoon.

Admiral Carlos Miguel Salazar Ramonet died when a naval SUV in which he was traveling came under small arms fire by yet unidentified insurrectionists in the region. The government says they are most likely members of the powerful Los Caballeros Templarios drug cartel.

Mexican armed forces arrest 4,760 drug traffickers in first eight months of PRI administration

Military units remain at the vanguard of the drug war under new government

Guadalajara -
For those who thought, and predicted, that Mexican military involvement in the country's now 80 month old drug war would become a thing of the past once its new president was sworn in late last year, things have not quite worked out that way.

Mexico's army, marine and naval forces arrested 4,760 drug traffickers and members of organized crime groups between Dec. 1, 2012 and July 15, 2013, the Secretary of Defense (SEDENA) reported last week.

Three federal employees executed in Guadalajara suburb

Guadalajara -
Three men believed to be employees of Mexico's federal social development department were found shot to death last night in Zapopan, a sprawling suburban area just beyond the city limits of the Jalisco state capital.

Zapopan is the equivalent of a county or township in the U.S., and consists of many separate communities.

The victims, whose ages were estimated by police at 35, 55 and 60, where found in the town of Nextipac about 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Police do not know what their business was, but residents said they had observed the men driving around for several hours earlier in the day. Nextipac, northwest of Guadalajara proper, is home to 3,500 people. This weekend residents are celebrating its founding.

Yucatán state government announces huge commercial investment commitment, with 5,000 new jobs as a bonus

U.S. companies bet on the land of the Maya

Mérida, Yucatán -
The secretary of economic development has announced that 10 domestic and foreign companies will invest 400 million pesos in business expansion from now through 2015, a move which the industries say will create up to 5,000 jobs in the largest of the peninsula's three states.

The investment is worth about $32 million US dollars. The companies indicated most of the money will be spent on enlarging existing physical facilities, purchasing new machinery and equipment and expanding their labor forces. In the first year alone the businesses said they would generate 2,365 new jobs in the state.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mexico complains about "generic" U.S. State Department travel warnings

"Be more precise," urges Secretary of Tourism

Guadalajara -
Mexico's Secretary of Tourism, Claudia Ruiz Massieu, urged today that future U.S. warnings about the dangers of travel in Mexico "reflect specific locations and exact problems, rather than addressing security generically, in such a manner that it's possible to put into accurate perspective what's actually happening today in Mexico."

Attorney General Eric Holder's full court press in Moscow

Yet another wasted effort to move an unbudgeable Vladimir Putin in the Edward Snowden case

Guadalajara -
One week ago today confessed kidnapper and former CIA agent Robert Seldon Lady nicely made his way from Panama back to the U.S. Lady fled Italy six years ago, after orchestrating a 2003 operation in Milan which resulted in the "extraordinary rendition" of an Islamic cleric to Egypt, where he was subjected to torture for the next four years. Lady was convicted by an Italian court in 2009, and sentenced to eight years in prison. He's been on the lam ever since. Ex-CIA agent detained in Panama quickly returns to U.S..

There is an outstanding international arrest warrant for Lady, but the Justice Department has diligently avoided commenting on the case. The head man at Justice, U.S. attorney general Eric Holder, did have time this week to dispatch a letter to Moscow, assuring his counterpart that neither torture nor a death sentence is in store for Edward Snowden if the Russians will just hand him over. Perhaps the A.G. should call upon Mr. Rendition himself, Bob Lady . . . he's rather experienced in these matters.

Common crime, Guadalajara style

It's not just drug cartels you have to worry about in Jalisco

*Updated Aug. 16*
This brutal assault occurred in a busy commercial area Thursday, July 25. Neither police nor the state prosecutor have issued any statement on the case. Passersby didn't seem particularly concerned, either.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Federals will remain in Michoacán, promises Peña Nieto

"Regrettably, parts of the state have passed into the hands of organized crime" - Enrique Peña Nieto

Heroica Veracruz, Veracruz -
Speaking at a graduation ceremony for Mexican naval cadets, president Enrique Peña Nieto said today his government is working hard to restore peace in violent Michoacán state, where six Federal Police officers were killed in an ambush by unidentified gunmen on Tuesday.

"Michoacán has the full backing of the federal government, as we return the rule of law to every region of the state," he said. Yesterday Peña Nieto called an emergency meeting of his cabinet to deal with chronic instability in the area, which has plagued the new PRI administration since last spring.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mexican army units fortify Jalisco-Michoacán border

Guadalajara -
In the wake of multiple attacks against Mexican Federal Police units in Michoacán on Tuesday, the commander of the Fifth District Military Region, Gen. Daniel Velasco Ramírez, announced today that the state border with Jalisco has been sealed by army units. Michoacán erupts; 22 dead as regional violence escalates.

"¿Por qué deberíamos preocuparnos?"

MGR's view -

"It's very early to take on a triumphal attitude, but the trend is already apparent" - Mexico's Secretary of Government Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, addressing what he called drug war progress on April 10

America's beloved Alfred E. Neuman* made the question famous.

More narco butchery in impoverished Guadalupe y Calvo

In default of a military presence, mayor solicits God's protection

Guadalajara -
Guadalupe y Calvo is a county in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. The county seat of the same name is home to about 6,000 persons.

There is no industry or commerce in the rural region, apart from raising marijuana and opium poppy. Those operations are controlled by competing drug cartels, which pay local workers $12-$15 dollars a day to till the land, bring in the harvest and pack the products for shipment north, to the U.S. border. No other economic livelihood is available for many, and there are mouths to feed.

Civilian militias stop Mexican army near Acapulco

*Updated Aug. 5*
Acapulco, Guerrero -
On the Mexico City to Acapulco highway today, about 500 local autodefensas blockaded the road to stop advancing federal troops, whom they contend are in the area to disarm them.

The events follow six ambushes yesterday against Federal Police convoys in neighboring Michoacán state, which left 22 persons dead, most of them assailants. The government has not said who was responsible for the guerrilla style attacks. Michoacán erupts; 22 dead as regional violence escalates.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Michoacán erupts; 22 dead as regional violence escalates

Nobody's fully in charge there

Attacks occurred in these and other spots today, with federales the targets

Guadalajara -
Michoacán state is swarming with federal troops and law enforcement personnel this evening after heavily armed insurgents launched six attacks against Federal Police convoys today. Commanders on the scene said they were ambushed.

The attacks killed 22, including two federal agents. Another 15 police officers were wounded in the multiple assaults by the yet unidentified gunmen. The remainder of the victims were the assailants.

Mexican state, local debt leap, while Enrique Peña Nieto announces plans to get more workers on real payrolls

News from the economic front: the entire Yucatán peninsula is operating in red ink

Guadalajara -
The long term debt facing Mexico's 31 states and one federal district rose 480% during the last 12 years, the federal government has reported.

In 2000, those entities owed 90.731 billion pesos. By 2012, aggregate state debt had risen to over 434 billion pesos. Ignoring inflation, and applying a current exchange rate of 12.5, the former figure was $7.258 billion USD, and the latter is $34.72 billion. Aggregate municipal debt has risen to 43 billion pesos - about $3.44 billion US dollars.

Monday, July 22, 2013

"Dog killers of Kankab" outrage Yucatán residents

The power of social media reaches even remote Mayan villages

Tekax de Álvaro Obregón, Yucatán -
There are matazetas - Zeta killers - and then there are mataperros - dog killers. In this provincial town just southeast of the state capital of Mérida, they're more focused on the latter these days, although they're well aware a few of the former could be hanging around, too.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mlle. Florence Cassez is now Mme. Florence Cassez

"C'est la vie, say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell" - Chuck Berry

Guadalajara -
Then mademoiselle Florence Cassez of Paris didn't look much like she had romance on her mind in this December 2005 photo, taken shortly after she and her lover were arrested by Mexican Federal Police. Both were accused of being principals (he the jeffe) of the notorious Los Zodiaco, a regional gang which specialized in kidnapping ordinary Mexicans off the street and holding them for ransom.

Ex-CIA agent detained in Panama quickly returns to U.S.

It's the case of Edward Snowden, in reverse

Guadalajara -
Shortly before 12:00 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 17, 2003, an Islamic cleric by the name of Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr walked to his local mosque for noon prayers in Milan, Italy. As he neared the place of worship, Nasr was grabbed and shoved into a minivan by a well trained commando team. They drove him to the joint U.S.-Italian air force base at Aviano, where he was tortured. Later he was flown to Ramstein, Germany, and then across the Mediterranean to Cairo.

Samantha Power, U.N. ambassador nominee, speaks out on human rights abuses - by the United States of America

MGR's view - The pot calls the kettle black

Guadalajara -
During a recent appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Irish immigrant and naturalized U.S. citizen Samantha Power lambasted Venezuela for alleged human rights abuses:
Nicolás Maduro infuriated by U.S. ambassador nominee's comments about Venezuela.

Nicolás Maduro infuriated by U.S. ambassador nominee's comments about Venezuela, as relations hit a new low

"I emphatically reject every word of these unjust and false declarations by Señora Samantha Power"

Guadalajara -
Just when you thought diplomatic relations couldn't get any worse between Venezuela and the United States, they have.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Much fanfare for Enrique Peña Nieto on his 47th birthday

Guadalajara -
Institutional Revolutionary Party president Enrique Peña Nieto turned 47 today, his first birthday as chief executive of the Mexican republic.

Peña Nieto visited his home state of Edomex (the State of Mexico) today, where he remains a highly popular former governor. They rolled out the red carpet for the president and his first lady, film star Angélica Rivera.

Mexican A.G. comments on Z-40, El Chapo Guzmán and Yucatán security

Mérida, Yucatán -
Mexico's Attorney General is Jesús Murillo Karam. He was appointed by president Enrique Peña Nieto last December, right after the new PRI administration took the helm. Karam wasted no time in advising the country that Mexico has 60-80 drug cartels and regional organized crime groups, as well as hundreds of local gangs. Mexican narco violence stats after first month of new PRI administration not encouraging.

Yesterday while in in this city, Karam called a press conference to deal with this week's arrest of Los Zetas boss Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, known within the club as Z-40. There have been recurrent press reports that Treviño Morales - aware that la Marina mexicana was hot on his trail - negotiated his own surrender to the government. In return, some reports contend, he agreed to be debriefed on the activities of competitor cartels, with the understanding he would be dealt with more lightly in court.

Friday, July 19, 2013

U.S. continues to hammer Venezuela over Snowden case

Why make friends, when it's so much easier to win enemies?

*Updated Aug. 1*
Guadalajara -
While former NSA security contractor Edward Snowden is cooling his heels in Moscow, awaiting a decision on his pending application for interim political asylum in Russia, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is busy carrying out the boss' orders, making implied threats anew.

In a phone call this morning to his counterpart, Venezuelan foreign minister Elías Jaua, Kerry warned once again that Snowden has a date with an Alexandria, Virginia federal judge to deal with that pesky Espionage Act charge - as if Jaua had been on a good will tour of the New Hebrides, and perhaps unaware of that elementary fact.

Skilled drug traffickers move the product with the help of innocent travelers

Anybody and everybody is at risk - but in this case, a happy outcome occasioned many tears

Guadalajara -
Ángel de Maria Soto Zarate, 23, is a soft spoken elementary school teacher from the state of Veracruz on Mexico's Gulf coast. A devout Catholic, on July 11 she set off for Brazil, where she planned to spend a few days at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, which opens next week.

Ángel had hoped to see her beloved Pope up close - a dream she has held since she was a child, she told hundreds in a shaking voice at a very public celebration of gratitude today.

But drug traffickers had other plans for her - or at least for her luggage. So Ángel is back home in Veracruz, not in Brazil. Still, she and her supporters are giving thanks, because at least she's free, and with those who love her.

Ángel's journey began with a domestic flight to Mexico City, where she had a layover of several hours and her luggage was checked for the international leg of the trip. Then it was on to Lima, Peru for another brief stop, before the final connecting link to Rio.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Matazeta arrested in 2008 case of 12 men decapitated in Mérida, Yucatán

Another big victory for Peña Nieto administration: high ranking "Zeta killer" arrested in Guadalajara

Guadalajara -
The Mexican Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) burst onto the scene about two years ago, when it posted a YouTube video which went viral in this country (below). With an announced purpose of cleansing communities of the scourge of Los Zetas and other organized crime groups, CJNG quickly became known by its street name - Los Matazetas, or the "Zeta killers." In reality, it's just one more cartel fighting for a share of drug trafficking, extortion and kidnapping markets.

Ex-president Vicente Fox: persona non grata in Oaxaca

Still high on himself, former PANista hosts a "symposium of marijuana experts"

Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca -
Former Mexican president Vicente Fox, who served as the National Action Party chief executive from 2000 to 2006, is an expert at burning bridges everywhere he goes.

In this southwestern state bordering Mexico's Pacific coast, he's officially been awarded a new title - persona non grata - and asked to stay out until he publicly apologizes for insulting perhaps the most beloved president of the nation - Oaxaca's favorite son, Benito Juárez.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Zeta boss Z-40 already making legal demands, filing suits

Sans handcuffs on his arrival in Mexico City

Guadalajara -
He's been in custody for less than 72 hours, but Los Zetas King of the Pyramid Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales filed a flurry of lawsuits, called amparo petitions, in a Mexico City federal court yesterday. Los Zeta boss, Z-40, arrested near Nuevo Laredo.

Amparo has no precise equivalent in American, British or Canadian law, but attorneys in those jurisdictions will recognize it by another name - the writ of habeas corpus.

Police beat reporter murdered in Oaxaca

Guadalajara -
In the southwestern Mexican state of Oaxaca (wo-haa-ka), a police docket reporter for the local newspaper El Imparcial was found dead this morning outside the capital of Oaxaca de Juárez.

The body of Alberto López Bello was beside another man. Both victims "presented severe injuries," according to the state prosecutor.

Obama: high praise for Peña Nieto in capture of top Zeta

"We have to continue doing our part to reduce the demand for drugs in this country, and the flow of cash and arms south" - Barack Obama, July 16

Guadalajara -
In a White House interview yesterday with the Spanish language Univision network, president Barack Obama said Monday's capture of the top boss of of the powerful Los Zetas drug cartel by Mexican security forces demonstrates president Enrique Peña Nieto's determination to deal with international drug trafficking.

"I recognize that in the beginning, there was some question about that," Obama acknowledged.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mexican army shines again in Treviño Morales takedown

MGR's view

Guadalajara -
Not so many months ago (Nov. 21, 2011), one of the most prominent newspapers in the United States wrote this:

"A new report by Human Rights Watch indicates that drug cartels and organized crime aren't solely responsible for the bloodletting (in Mexico). The military, deployed to protect civilians, may have caused many of their deaths, according to the group's study. The report is just the latest reminder that Calderón's security strategy, including his decision to deploy more than 50,000 soldiers against the cartels, hasn't reduced violence, and may in fact be fueling it."

Monday, July 15, 2013

Top Los Zeta boss, Z-40, arrested near Nuevo Laredo

All who knew cartel capo "lived in terror of his fury"

*Content updated July 16*
Guadalajara -
Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, the highest ranking official of Mexico's powerful Los Zetas drug cartel, was captured today by Mexican marines near Nuevo Laredo, a border town in deadly Tamaulipas state.

The arrest was the biggest victory yet for president Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office in December with a promise to reduce drug war violence in this country of 118 million.

Mexico began a controversial offensive against the cartels on Dec. 11, 2006, during the administration of former president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa. President Peña Nieto has stuck to the core militarization strategy - even expanding upon it - but with slight cosmetic modifications.

Cancún and Quintana Roo are not under a U.S. advisory, but maybe they should be

"This happened to me for being an extortionist in the service of ---; I'm waiting for them now in hell."

Cancún, Quintana Roo -
Last week the U.S. State Dept. issued updated travel advisories for Mexico. Neither this gateway to the Riviera Maya, nor Mexico's most southeastern state of which it is the largest city, were on the list. But drug war violence continues here unabated.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Today is Bastille Day . . . yes, even in Mexico

Happy birthday, France

While the French lost the Battle of Puebla (1862), they plainly won the Battle of Cassez (2013).

Click and stand at stiff attention for 90 seconds:

Over 60% of Jaliscans earn less than subsistence income

"They can't eat," reports university study

Thursday morning's front page carried the disturbing news in several metro area newspapers

*Updated Dec. 15, 2014 (below)*
Guadalajara -
A study reported last week by academic investigators at the University of Guadalajara found that 61% of Jalisco state residents don't earn enough to purchase basic foodstuffs and household necessities.

The researchers attributed the problem to chronically poor wages, inflation and the falling value of the peso against the U.S. dollar.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

No slouch on the track, that Peña Nieto

*Updated Mar. 22, 2014*
Original story:
Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto turned in a nifty time in a Mexico City 10K (6.2 mile) run this morning. The event, in Chapultepec Woods, was put on by the Estado Mayor Presidencial - Mexico's Secret Service. The 46 year old president posted a very respectable 54 minutes, 11 seconds - that's about an eight and a half minute mile. Fittingly, Peña Nieto displayed runner bib # 1 . . . and his hair was still perfect at the finish line.

A message from Moscow

"I had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates" - Edward Snowden, Moscow, July 12, 2013

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized" - Amendment IV, U.S. Constitution (1791)

Statement by Edward Snowden to human rights groups at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, Friday, July 12, 2013 (Edward Snowden will remain in Russia - for now)

"My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.

Friday, July 12, 2013

U.S. State Dept. issues new travel advisories for Mexico

Guadalajara -
The following is the verbatim text of advisories issued today by the United States Dept. of State in Washington, D.C. A state by state analysis is below. Jalisco is under some warnings; Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán are not. Notice particular warnings for the states of Guerrero (including Acapulco), Sinaloa and Veracruz, and unequivocal warnings about travel in the deadly border state of Tamaulipas. MGR has redacted minor portions of the announcement, primarily contact and technical information. Otherwise it's exactly as carried on the State Dept. website.

Travel Warning
Bureau of Consular Affairs

July 12, 2013

The Department of State has issued this Travel Warning to inform U.S. citizens about the security situation in Mexico. General information on the overall security situation is provided immediately below. For information on security conditions in specific regions of Mexico, which can vary, travelers should reference the state-by-state assessments.

Los Zetas are in Progreso, Yucatán, local press claims

Mérida, Yucatán -
The dreaded Los Zetas drug cartel is leaving fingerprints (or footprints, if you prefer) on the Yucatán peninsula, according to this story published today by, a regional news service which covers Mérida, Cancún and and the Riviera Maya.

Two of four men arrested Tuesday in connection with a Progreso jewelry store robbery have direct links to the Zetas going back to 2008, authorities say. In the former case the men served prison terms in the central Mexican city of Aguascalientes. They were convicted of trafficking in marijuana, cocaine and psychedelic drugs, and the possession of assault weapons.

The paper offered no evidence that this week's robbery in Mérida's outlet to the Gulf was an organized crime operation, however.

Edward Snowden will remain in Russia - for now

Contractor doesn't want to harm immediate interests of Latin nations which offered him a new home

*Updated content*
Guadalajara -
Many Latin American news sources are reporting this morning that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden plans to seek political asylum in Russia. But it may be only the first step in a long journey.

All the reports quoted Serguéi Reznik, a Moscow attorney who said he will attend a conference with Snowden and his Wikileaks team of advisers at Sheremetyevo International Airport later today, where the fugitive's plans will be announced.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mexican army kills 13 sicarios in Zacatecas shootout

Guadalajara -
In the north central Mexican state of Zacatecas federal troops today killed 13 heavily armed gunmen who attacked them while on routine patrol.

Authorities reported this evening that the men were members of the Gulf Cartel, one of the most powerful of Mexico's 60-80 organized crime organizations.

The Gulf Cartel operates all over Mexico, and is an increasingly powerful presence along the country's Caribbean coast. Quintana Roo prosecutor confirms: Gulf Cartel likely behind three recent Riviera Maya atrocities.

U.S. carried out electronic spying in Mexico with help of American contractor - and maybe of Mexico

An "off the books" component of the Mérida Initiative, prosecutors suggest

Guadalajra -
Mexican federal prosecutors are investigating U.S. electronic surveillance in this country which dates at least to 2007, and which may have been authorized by former president Felipe Calderón as part of the Mérida Initiative approved by both countries the same year.

The initiative, so named for the city where it was proposed by Calderón and former president George W. Bush, is a $1.6 billion agreement between the United States and Mexico that provides for U.S. training and equipping of Mexican military and police forces, plus intelligence gathering and sharing. The agreement may have included the "operation of clandestine systems to intercept and record communications in Mexico," according to a report this morning by Excélsior, a respected Mexico City newspaper.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Peña Nieto: American espionage "totally unacceptable"

U.S. on the hot seat all over Latin America

*Updated Sept. 2 - Guardian journalist: U.S. spied on Enrique Peña Nieto before he was elected*

Guadalajara -
On the same day major party leaders from Mexican congress delivered a unified condemnation of the U.S. National Security Agency's electronic surveillance program known as PRISM, Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto did likewise, calling it "totally unacceptable." Mexico turns up heat on U.S. over PRISM surveillance.

A world passport for Edward Snowden

But will anybody recognize it?

Guadalajara -
The World Service Authority (WSA), a non-profit organization which promotes world citizenship, world law and world government, announced at its Washington, D.C. headquarters today that it has issued a "World Passport" to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who remains trapped in an international transit area of the Moscow airport.

Snowden was stripped of his American passport by the U.S. State Dept. last month.

Although almost no country recognizes the legitimacy of WSA issued passports, the organization maintains they are valid under principles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UDHR was approved in 1948 by four dozen countries, including the United States. WSA was founded in 1954.

Mexico turns up heat on U.S. over PRISM surveillance

PRI senate leader calls for "collaboration, not spying"

Guadalajara -
Mexico's Permanent Congressional Committee (PCC) condemned the U.S. National Security Agency's PRISM surveillance program today, calling it a "violation of national sovereignty as well as a threat to the security of the Mexican people and their right to the protection and integrity of personal information."

The PCC is a multi-partisan commission which speaks for the senate and the house of deputies when the chambers are in recess, and has other constitutionally imposed duties.

The PCC urged Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto to demand a "prompt explanation" from the United States about NSA electronic snooping operations, and insisted on an "immediate end" to them.

Sen. Jorge Luis Preciado, leader of the center right National Action Party (PAN) delegation in the upper house, complained that the Peña Nieto administration's response to the PRISM revelations "has been weak from the beginning." Sen. Silvano Aureoles, leader of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), agreed, calling such surveillance programs a "recurrent tactic of U.S. administrations."

Both senate leaders said they were pleased with today's announcement from Mexico's foreign ministry, which "energetically condemns any deviation from international relations evidencing bi-lateral respect and based upon adherence to the rule of law and diplomatic norms."

In Guadalajara, 20 local gangs work with organized crime

Guadalajara -
The Jalisco government reported this week that 20 local gangs are involved with organized crime in this state, most of them devoted to narcotics distribution.

Guadalajara is home to at least 300 gangs, 50 of which the government characterized as violent. Another 20 have direct links to much larger organizations. Mexico's attorney general reported in December that 60-80 drug cartels are operating in the country.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Maduro puts out the welcome mat for Edward Snowden, unconditionally

Check out time in Moscow may be approaching, as both sides appear to be on the same page

Guadalajara -
Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro appeared Monday to leave the door wide open for an immediate journey by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who remains trapped in a Moscow airport under increasing pressure to decide which country he will select as his new home.

Snowden, who has not been seen since his arrival in the Russian capital on June 23, could make a move at any moment. Putin administration officials have made no secret of the fact that they are anxious to see him go.

During July 5 independence day festivities in Caracas, Maduro publicly offered Snowden "humanitarian asylum." Today he confirmed that Venezuela's embassy in Russia has received a formal solicitation from the American fugitive, probably identical in content to this one.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Raúl Castro complains: Cubans are better educated, but many remain socially uncouth

"They urinate in the streets, and do their business in city parks"

This taxi displays the Cuban national colors . . . but it's permanently parked in Guadalajara, at a bar

Guadalajara -
Marxist discipline is a concept which has been lost upon the new generation of Cubans, according to the island's 82 year old president.

At the close of a two day parliamentary session in Havana yesterday, Raúl Castro gave a reportedly haranguing speech to deputies, berating Cuban society for improprieties ranging from street crime to urinating in public to the "raising of hogs within city limits."