Thursday, December 20, 2012

Peña Nieto's Anti-Crime Strategy; Latin American Economic Growth; Institutional Crisis in Costa Rica

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Articles in SourceMex, NotiCen, and NotiSur for Dec. 19-21

President Enrique Peña Nieto Presents Anti-Crime Strategy
In mid-December, just two weeks after taking office, President Enrique Peña Nieto announced a public-safety strategy that adopts a regional focus and creates a national police force to replace the Army and Navy in drug-interdiction efforts. Peña Nieto’s strategy includes several central concepts: planning, crime prevention, respect for human rights, coordination, revamping law enforcement and the judiciary, as well as a process of continual evaluation.  -Carlos Navarro
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Latin America, Caribbean Nations Have Economic Lessons for World Powers
Beginning in October, documents from the World Bank, the European Union (EU) statistics office, various UN agencies, and private organizations made clear the unimaginable gap that has opened between the dominant countries of the Global North and the always-disdained nations of the South, in this case those of Latin America and the Caribbean. Contrary to what has been a historic constant, however, this time the US and the floundering European economies have observed Latin America's healthy economic indicators. Those indicators show that the inclusive policies applied by progressive governments that came onto the scene with the new millennium produced employment growth and the capacity to generate new jobs and, consequently, a significant drop in poverty and food-insufficiency indices. -Andrés Gaudín    Read More

Costa Rican Congress-Supreme Court Clash as Magistrate’s Re-election Sparks Institutional Crisis
Costa Rica’s Constitution states that the unicameral Asamblea Legislativa (AL) elects the 22 magistrates making up the Corte Suprema de Justicia (CSJ) and decides whether to re-elect them or not--the latter requiring an affirmative vote of at least 38 of the 57 AL deputies. It has been customary to re-elect magistrates as their eight-year terms near their end, But within the context of an increasingly agitated political scene, this tradition took a turn this year. The term of Magistrate Fernando Cruz, a member of the CSJ's Sala Constitucional (also Sala IV), ended in October, and, a month later, a 38-vote majority made up of the 24 deputies of the governing social democratic Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN) plus allies from minority blocs decided not to re-elect the judge. -George Rodríguez   Read More

Salvadoran Gangs Willing To Extend Truce, On One Condition
Nine months after agreeing to an historic truce, jailed leaders from El Salvador’s largest street gangs say they are ready to curb more than just killings--at least in a handful of strategic "peace zones." Before moving ahead with the experimental plan, however, the notoriously violent maras, as the groups are known, want the government to do something in return: repeal its repressive "anti-gang law." -Benjamin Witte-Lebhar   Read More

Mexico Mends Trade Relations with Argentina; Officials Reach New Auto Agreement
After a six-month disruption, Mexico and Argentina have mended fences and agreed to resume trade in automobiles. On Dec. 14, the two sides announced a 27-month agreement that allows exports of Mexican automobiles to enter Argentina duty free, although a new smaller quota was imposed in the near term.
Under the new agreement, which became effective on Dec. 18, 2012, the two countries agreed to establish an annual limit of US$575 million for Mexican auto exports to Argentina in the first year, US$625 million in the second year, and US$187.5 million in the three-month period between December 2014 and March 2015. On March 2015, the two countries will return to free trade in automobiles, as established under Mexico’s agreement with the Southern Cone Common Market (MERCOSUR).  -Carlos Navarro    Read More

Investigation of Forced Sterilizations in Peru
The decision of the criminal prosecutor's office in Lima to reopen investigations of forced sterilizations was hailed by women victims of the practice, carried out during the administration of ex-President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), who now see the possibility of justice being done after 15 years of struggle. The Primera Fiscalía Penal Supraprovincial de Lima headed by Dr. Edith Chamorro has 53 pieces of evidence based on 1,700 pages of memoranda and official letters, as well as reports from government ministers addressed to Fujimori informing him about the sterilization "quotas" that were fulfilled, and other evidence confirming that what was happening was a state policy. - -Elsa Chanduví Jaña   Read More

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