Friday, August 17, 2012

Aug. 15-17: Mexican and Colombian Extradition Policies; Increase in Undocumented Cubans to U.S.

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SourceMex, August 15, 2012

 Mexico’s high court (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, SCJN) is considering a number of individual cases that would uphold an earlier decision to give civilian courts jurisdiction in cases where military personnel are alleged to have violated the rights of civilians. The court is using the current session to consider 30 cases related to its July 2011 decision that initially allowed civilian courts jurisdiction over military violations of human rights. In that decision, the SCJN ruled that Mexico’s judiciary branch was obligated to comply with international rulings barring the investigation and prosecution of human rights abuses under the military justice system.

Former Quintana Roo Governor Villanueva, Sinaloa Cartel’s 'Queen of the Pacific' Appear in U.S. Courts to Answer to Drug-Related Charges

Two high-profile Mexicans accused of drug-trafficking offenses had court dates in the US in early August. On Aug. 2, former Quintana Roo governor Mario Villanueva Madrid pleaded guilty in a US Federal District Court in New York to charges that he conspired to launder millions of dollars of drug profits in the US. A week later, Sandra Ávila Beltrán, a high-ranking lieutenant in the Sinaloa cartel, appeared in a US Federal Court in Miami after her extradition to the US. Ávila Beltrán, commonly known as the Reina del Pacífico (Queen of the Pacific), was scheduled to be arraigned on drug-trafficking charges, after allegedly controlling cocaine traffic from Colombia to the western US for years.

NotiCen, August 16, 2012

The flow of undocumented immigrants from Cuba to the US has increased in recent months, most entering through points along the US-Mexico border, within a context of skepticism about reforms promised by the government of President Raúl Castro and unease regarding the economic collapse of other traditional Cuban migratory destinations such as Spain.

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli was forced to withdraw two controversial bills from the unicameral Asamblea Nacional (AN): one that would have sold off state assets in mixed public utility companies, and another that would have granted him full control of the Corte Suprema de Justicia (CSJ), following widespread protests throughout the country and a fistfight between lawmakers in the AN.

NotiSur, August 17, 2012

Some 1,500 Colombians have been extradited to stand trial in US courts since 1987, when a US-Colombia extradition treaty went into effect. The treaty was intended primarily to bring leaders of drug-trafficking organizations and their paramiitary allies to the US. But the extradition policy has not had its intended effect, and the failure of the official strategy has increasingly led to voices--in the judiciary, political circles, social organizations, and the press-- suggesting that the treaty be revised or even rescinded.

A ruling by judges of the Sala Penal Permanente of the Corte Suprema de Justicia (CSJ) that reduced the sentences of members of Grupo Colina, the military death squad that during the administration of ex-President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) committed selective assassinations as part of the government's countersubversive operations, was repudiated by survivors of the massacres, jurists, human rights organizations, and even President Ollanta Humala.

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