Exclusive from Democracy Now here.
Excerpt: “As parents who have traveled from Mexico cross the United States in three protest caravans, we speak with two relatives of the missing students who live here in New York City: Antonio Tizapa is the father of Jorge Antonio Tizapa Legideño; and Amado Tlatempa is the cousin of Jesús Jovany Rodríguez Tlatempa. Tizapa, who believes his son is still alive, calls on the Obama administration to stop the Mérida Initiative, the multibillion-dollar U.S. aid program used to fund the war on drugs in Mexico.”
For spirited demonstrations against the disappearance of our fallen comrades!
We will never forget and we will keep on fighting for justice in your memory.
AVISO EN ESPAÑOL ABAJO
IT’S BEEN FIVE MONTHS AFTER THE AYOTZINAPA MASSACRE
February 26th will mark five months of the Ayotzinapa students’ massacre. The organized crime embedded in the Mexican government keeps providing false and contradictory versions of these facts that we cannot and should not forgive. They wanted to bury the truth and turn it into ashes along with the bodies, but sowed seeds of indignation and solidarity worldwide instead.
Join us in our non-violent protest outside the Mexican Consulate this Thursday starting at 5 pm. Help us tell the survivors and relatives of victims that are not alone and we will not rest until justice is done for them and for our crying country.
Come join us to remember them and to show your solidarity. We hope seeing you there! Bring your rage and your creativity to tell the Mexican Consulate employees they work for a criminal government. Tell all your friends and family. Here is the Facebook Event page:
ALSO, we the group Somos los Otros NY will be gathering for a Cultural Event for Ayotzinapa this Sunday back to Union Square at 3p.m. There will be dance, poetry and indignation. Come join us!
CINCO MESES HAN PASADO Y EL GOBIERNO NOS SIGUE MINTIENDO
Este 26 de febrero se cumplen cinco meses de la masacre de los estudiantes de Ayotzinapa. El narcogobierno continúa dando versiones falsas y contradictorias de estos hechos que no podemos ni debemos perdonar. Quisieron enterrar la verdad y calcinarla junto con los cadáveres, pero sembraron semillas de indignación y solidaridad por todo el mundo.
Súmate a nuestra protesta pacífica frente al consulado de México este jueves a partir de las 5 de la tarde. Ayúdanos a decirles a los sobrevivientes y a los familiares de las víctimas que no están solos y que no descansaremos hasta que se haga justicia para ellos y para nuestro sufrido país.
Ven a recordarlos y a solidarizarte. ¡Te esperamos! Invita a todos tus familiares y amigos.
by NICK ALEXANDROV
Nearly a decade ago, a keen observer of Honduras produced a damning analysis of the country. “In a very real sense, Honduras is a captured state,” he began. “Elite manipulation of the public sector, particularly the weak legal system, has turned it into a tool to protect the powerful,” and “voters choose mainly between the two major entrenched political parties, both beholden to the interests of individuals from the same economic elite.” The situation required a “strategy that will give people the means to influence public policy,” the report concluded.
Read more about President Obama militarizing Latin American authoritarian and narco-tied governments at the expense of democracy and human rights here.
“And I would say to anyone watching this, you know, it’s so easy to feel daunted by the big political challenges we’ve got. It’s so easy, especially with something as huge as the drug war. You are so much more powerful than you know. Bud (Osborne) was a homeless street addict, and he started a movement that has transformed Vancouver, transformed Canada, and saved thousands of people’s lives. If he can do it, we can do it. This war has been going for a hundred years. We can end it now if we choose to.”
Sorry for last minute notice. Here is the message below.
We are everywhere!
There is still time for you to invite friends in Washington today Saturday for Tuesday rally!
Also, our 20+ people delegation from New York supporting Ayotzinapa will be traveling and rallying all day long. We don’t have any resources except our salaries to support this trip and food is expensive for Mexican workers in that area surrounding the White House. Bringing some food and water for some will be highly appreciated!
CORRECTION: 6th at 10 am is Tuesday (not Monday). Lafayette Square in front of the White House (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500) Look for us with Somos los Otros NY signs and Zapatista buttons.
(MENSAJE EN ESPAÑOL MÁS ABAJO)
MEXICAN PRESIDENT PEÑA NIETO NOT WELCOME IN WASHINGTON DC
Do you have a friend in Washington? Invite her/him to join us to what we need to be a huge rally against Mexican President with YOUR help.
Mexican President Peña Nieto does not represent the people of Mexico – we will be there to tell him that. Continue Reading »
Excellent piece in Al Jazeera about the US exporting a failed and brutal policing method abroad, which you need to know in order to oppose these policies and their liberal boosters (in NYC and DC) effectively.
Wednesday, December 10th – International Human Rights Day – demonstrations will be held (again) nationwide challenging the lawlessness of the USG in not holding Bush and Co. accountable for torture, thereby signaling that it may continue with impunity. In NYC members of our network will do our part to challenge the USG militarization of Latin America under the ‘drug war’ and the devastation it has caused. Plan Mexico and other militarization/lethal aid schemes targeting Latin America have come under fire.
So we can expect more distortions of Plan Mexico’s value by inside the beltway pundits. Continue Reading »
Good piece here too.
And this one too below.
These are the people who fund Plan Mexico and they’ve ignored us. Call them and tell them what you think. Stop Obama and the Democratic Party’s 7 year policy of support for Plan Mexico (and other USG militarization) projects targeting Mexico and Latin America.
Senator Gillibrand: Tel. (202) 224-4451
Senator Durbin: Tel. (202) 224-2152
Senator Leahy: Tel. (202) 224-4242
Make these calls to end the carnage!
By Andrew O’Reilly
Published December 03, 2014
Fox News Latino
New York – A group of over a hundred academics, activists and students gathered Wednesday afternoon in New York City to protest the U.S. government’s funding of the Mexican military in the midst of the unrest engulfing that country following the disappearance 43 students from a rural teachers’ college.
Congregating in a cold rain outside the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building in Lower Manhattan, demonstrators from as far away as Santa Fe, New Mexico – some holding signs with messages like, “Mexico is family,” in Spanish and the hashtag #USTired2 – are part of a group of more than 43 protests and vigils taking place across the U.S. on Wednesday to demand the end of U.S. government anti-drug funding to Mexico.
“The Mexican government has received more than $2 billion,” said Maria Heyaca, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told Fox News Latino. “What we’re seeing with the disappearance of these 43 students is that it’s not an isolated case. We’re talking about more than 30,000 people who are disappeared in Mexico, more than 100,000 people have been murdered.”
Continue Reading »
Important petition. Please sign and share.
Go here to sign.
“The depth of the Mexican crisis, the state and drug cartel violence, and the perception that the electoral route is closed because of widespread fraud, manipulation and corruption, means that Mexican popular movements have to work in the middle of a boiling cauldron of repression and violence. The United States is deeply involved in this cauldron through military agreements with the Mexican armed forces in carrying out this repression in Mexico under the cover of the drug war. And Canadian mining companies are also deeply involved as they seize and despoil the waters and lands of Mexican peasants and carry out brutal repression through private armies aided by various levels of the Mexican government against many Mexican communities. The giant oil corporations welcomed in by the privatization of Mexican oil will be protected from popular protests by the Mexican armed forces with the ongoing massive military assistance from the United States. U.S. and Canadian companies and their governments are involved in direct and indirect ways alongside the Mexican state in the repression of the Mexican people and the despoliation of their society.”
Join us in New York or wherever you are.
In New York, at 5 pm until we leave, on Monday, October 27th, we will gather in front of US Senator Gillibrand’s and Senator Schumer’s offices, at 780 Third Avenue (between 48th and 49th street) to urge they show leadership in meeting Friends of Brad Will’s demands.
We will draw attention to the impunity Brad’s murderers and those who covered up his murder enjoy. We will also urge the Senators’s effective attention to
* Tlatlaya, where 22 youth were killed and the government has admitted that most were executed by the 102nd army battalion, whose members were trained in the US;
* the 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and Iguala in Guerrero state (where people “do not trust any of the professional police“; did the USG train them too? the US State Dpt isn’t saying);
* the targeting of Dr. Mireles and the repression of grassroots self-defense organizations faced with corrupt (US-backed Mexican federal government and local state governments) in the states of Michoacan and Guerrero, and
* the many thousands of victims of the ‘war on drugs’ in which the Mexican state and the US Government and its friends in money-laundering banking circles collude.
Join us and spread the word. Urge your organizations to support our calls. And urge elected officials to recognize these demands. (for more, go to “Take Action” on this website)
An important piece on the US government colluding with narco-trafficking, a story still relevant today.
Read this devastating piece on the San Fernando massacre of demonstrating students.
The article describes a pattern of ‘predictable and thus preventable’ results of Mexican government actions and omissions that was “responsible for systematic, egregious and recurrent human rights violations”. We warned Amnesty International and the Washington Office on Latin America as well as Human Rights Watch about the ‘drug war’ military aid package known at Plan Mexico (which the article refers to by its official name, “the Merida Initiative” in 2006 and 2007 precisely for these predictable results. These organizations nevertheless refused to oppose and even praised the package despite our warnings. Only Human Rights Watch has since taken an official position against the ‘drug war’ although we have not seen forceful and effective advocacy by them to oppose the Obama expansion of it.
155,000 dead not counting tens of thousands disappeared. Narco-trafficking organizations as powerful as ever with profits relatively untouched.
Why would Hillary Clinton and Patrick Leahy call this a successful policy?
Other good piece here:
The Mexican drug war is the most deadly conflict in Latin America other than Guatemala’s 30 year civil war: http://t.co/zp68K43izV
— The Takeaway (@TheTakeaway) June 19, 2014
Global Drug Report: Don’t Just Decriminalize, Demilitarize
“The drug war is a pretext for the militarization of resource rich areas in Mexico and Central America, as happened with Plan Colombia in Colombia,” said Dawn Paley, author of the forthcoming book “Drug War Capitalism.”
A report released earlier this month by former heads of state and other global political figures made headlines across the world for calling the drug war a failure and for its endorsement of the decriminalization of drugs, including heroin and cocaine.
However, one of the report’s major criticisms, its critique of the militarization of the drug war, was largely neglected by the media.
Rest of article here.
Important new developments in the “War on Drugs”!
The tide has turned.
by LAURA CARLSEN
Published on Countpunch Weekend Edition July 25-27 (go to Counterpunch site for the version with important hotlinks).
* Laura Carlsen is the Director of the Americas Program.
After three years of relative silence, the U.S. press has finally “discovered” the crisis of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors piling up on the U.S. border. Although the coverage often began with moving stories of the hardships these young migrants faced, it soon turned ugly. For right-wing pundits and politicians, the “humanitarian crisis” has become a crackdown on kids.
The dominant narrative has been that foolish parents, perhaps duped by scheming criminal bands, are sending hapless children north to take advantage of loopholes in U.S. immigration practices.
This is just plain wrong. On every count.
Knowing the Risks
Continue Reading »
Another reason Plan Mexico must be ended and for us to support the people of Mexico against the violence and corruption plaguing their government.
Take action urged by the Americas Program at the Center for International Policy!
Demand justice in the murder of U.S. journalist Brad Will
Suspend Merida Initiative aid to Mexican security forces
June 14 would have been U.S. journalist Brad Will’s 44th birthday. Will was shot and killed covering protests in the Mexican state of Oaxaca in 2006. Years later, his murder and that of at least 18 Mexicans murdered in the protests have still not been fully investigated and prosecuted by the Mexican government.
(See details of the Brad Will case here)
THIS WEEK: Please call Senator Dick Durbin who represents the state where Brad’s parents live (D, Illinois) and urge him to use his leadership position to demand justice in the murder of Brad Will and immediately halt US aid to Mexican military and police.
In the first complaint filed with the new Inspector General of the Police Department for the City of New York, on his first day in office, Friends of Brad Will recommend to the Inspector General a course of action for exposing and ending targeting of political activists by the NYPD, including the spying on and infiltration of Friends of Brad Will.
If you are a member of a human rights, environmental justice, police reform, good government or other civic organization, you and your organizations may have been targeted by NYPD operations over the last two decades.
You and your organizations can join us in calling on the Inspector General Philip Eure to conduct a full and public audit of NYPD spying, infiltration, and subversion of political activist groups and dissenters and to recommend laws mandating severe penalties for continuation of such unlawful practices to serve as an effective deterrent to their repetition. Read full complaint here.
Take action by contacting Mayor De Blasio and your City Council member and urging them to support our complaint and call for a full audit of the NYPD’s history of targeting political activists and an end those practices. Click here to view a sample letter to Mayor De Blasio you can cut and past and modify to your tastes. Continue Reading »
Here is an example of a letter you could send to Senator Durbin to end impunity for the murder of Brad Will and many others by Mexican government-backed paramilitaries
Subject: Plan Mexico (aka the Merida Initiative) and he Murder of US journalist Brad Will
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Max_Gleischman@durbin.senate.gov, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please thank Mr Durbin for writing about Illinois resident Brad Will’s murder in Oaxaca Mexico some time ago. What is the latest?
Senator Durbin represents the state where Brad’s parents live (D, Illinois) I urge you to use you leadership position to end immediately US aid to Mexican military and police and that such aid be ended until Brad Will’s murderers and the murders of other innocents (at least 18 Mexicans during the same period) and those in the Mexican civil administration who helped cover up these murders are all brought to justice.
Senator Durbin serves as the Assistant Majority Leader, the second highest ranking position in the Senate. Also known as the Majority Whip, Senator Durbin has been elected to this leadership post by his Democratic colleagues every two years since 2006. He sits on the Senate Judiciary, Appropriations, Foreign Relations and Rules Committees.
You have the power to rally publicly your Senate colleagues and thereby to impress on the Obama Administration the importance of taking public action to ensure that ALL of those responsible for these murders and their cover-up are brought to justice and that military and police aid to Mexico is halted until they are.
Please reply, thank you.
Your Name Here
By Joseph J. Kolb
Published May 12, 2014
Note: We warned Washington Office on Against Latin America about the absence of benchmarks in Plan Mexico funding proposals by Bush. But they just pushed ahead despite the obvious failure of the model as made clear by corruption and brutality scandals that are endemic in the Colombia “drug war”. Of course, Plan Mexico is as much about ‘fighting drugs’ as Plan Colombia was.
Mexican police have captured high-profile drug kingpins in recent years, but complaints of abuse and corruption from members of the force have skyrocketed.AP
More than $1 billion in U.S. aid has done nothing to stem the rampant corruption and human rights violations within Mexican law enforcement, and lawmakers ought to rethink the flow of another $900 million in taxpayer dollars earmarked for south of the border, according to a new report from a Washington nonprofit.
The aid is part of the 2007 Merida Initiative, which promised Mexico’s federal police force funds for equipment and training, but tied the money to efforts to curtail corruption and abuse within the vast department. But the Washington Office on Latin America found complaints to Mexico’s Human Rights Commission have exploded over the same time, rising to 802 in 2012 from 146 six years earlier. Although the authors recognize Mexico’s attempts to improve its dysfunctional criminal justice system, they found it has failed to root out corruption and human rights violations among its police officers. Continue Reading »
See his full FAQ here.
Here’s the text below:
The people have spoken – it is time for the federal government to reform the failed marijuana policies that ruin lives and cost us billions of dollars every year.
Last November, Colorado and Washington voters chose to legalize small amounts of marijuana for adult recreational use. Nineteen Jurisdictions already allow medical marijuana. Half of Americans have tried marijuana at some point in their lives, and about 18 million have used it in the past month. It has been here for years, and it is here to stay.
Instead of arresting two-thirds of a million people every year for using something that half of Americans feel should be legal, we should embark on a reasonable program allowing states to develop their own programs that the federal government should tax and regulate. This is a position that conservatives who respect states’ rights and liberals who respect individual rights should be able to get behind.
Once we have established this principle, we should finally institute a framework to tax and regulate marijuana that will save billions of dollars in enforcement-related costs and raise billions in new revenue for deficit reduction, substance abuse, and law enforcement.
Although estimates are imprecise, I believe that my Marijuana Tax Equity Act, in combination with an end to federal marijuana prohibition, should be able to produce a net savings of at least $100 billion over a decade through increased revenues and reduced expenditures, while growing the economies of small town and rural America. Continue Reading »
Excerpt of this excellent discussion:
“I see that the current illicit marketplace is the gateway. It is the environment that is the gateway, not a particular substance or drug, but the environment that we have of drug dealers acting on our corners hiring kids to sell drugs, marijuana and other drugs, recruiting them from our schools, bringing them out onto the street corners, to sell drugs in schools to other children. We’ve created an environment with policies of prohibition that puts more drugs into the hands of our young people than any other scheme we could possibly imagine. This is the worst. And we realized that back during the times of alcohol prohibition. That’s why alcohol prohibition only lasted 13 years instead of four decades.”
Excellent review of current drug policy discussions at the UN in respected UK medical journal, The Lancet.
Chris Ford, founder and clinical director of the non-governmental organisation International Doctors for Healthy Drug Policies (IDHDP), told The Lancet: “We know the global war on drugs has failed and this has had devastating consequences for individuals and communities around the world. Large amounts of money have been spent on criminalisation and repressive measures have failed to curtail supply or consumption.”
on the Fair Blog by Janine Jackson
Quote: “US Attorney General Eric Holder called the arrest a “landmark achievement”: “The criminal activity Guzman allegedly directed contributed to the death and destruction of millions of lives across the globe through drug addiction, violence and corruption.”
But that activity wasn’t conducted by Guzman alone, and another notable player appears to be missing from the current story.” (bold ours)
Read it all here.
(NB: It’s about time. And too little too late for those who continue to rot in jail because of these regressive policies still on the books. And the victims of militarization in Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras etc are not addressed by piecemeal responses like decriminalization or changes in domestic sentencing law that’s still 18:1 for crack (black people) vs. cocaine (white people) possession etc.. – Rob)
Liberals and Republicans signal huge shift in attitude to US drug laws
With a handful of states considering new laws, America is becoming more sophisticated in its attitude towards drugs
by Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch
published in The Observer, Saturday 8 February 2014
Never did I think I would find myself agreeing with Texas governor Rick Perry on drug policy. But when the darling of Tea Party Republicans argued in favour of reducing prison populations and against federal obstruction of Washington and Colorado’s alternative marijuana policies, I found myself applauding the three-term governor.
“After 40 years of the war on drugs, I can’t change what happened in the past,” Perry said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “What I can do as the governor of the second largest state in the nation is to implement policies that start us toward a decriminalisation and keep people from going to prison and destroying their lives, and that’s what we’ve done over the last decade.” Continue Reading »
and collusion with the cartels.