Monday, March 3, 2014

Joaquín Chapo Guzmán Arrested in Mexico, Nicaragua’s Extreme Constitutional Makeover Takes Effect, Hague Resolves Peruvian-Chilean Maritime Dispute

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Articles in SourceMex, NotiCen and NotiSur for February 26-28

Sinaloa Cartel Expected to Survive Arrest of Joaquín Chapo Guzmán
The capture of Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficker Joaquín Guzmán Loera, also known as El Chapo, is almost certain to change the landscape for organized crime in Mexico. Guzmán Loera’s organization, the Sinaloa cartel, was clearly the best organized drug-trafficking organization in Mexico and overseas. The organization, also known as the Cartel del Pacífico, was structured like a global business, acquiring raw materials from Mexico, Asia, and South America and selling the finished product primarily in the US and Europe. Many experts believe that the organization, while weakened with the arrest of El Chapo, is powerful enough to survive the loss of its leader. One of Guzmán Loera’s lieutenants, Ismael Zambada, also known as El Mayo, has amassed enough power and responsibility to take over the mantle of leadership.Carlos Navarro Read More

Nicaragua’s Extreme Constitutional Makeover Takes Effect
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega put the finishing touches this month on a thunderous political power play that could extend his already lengthy stay in office until 2021--and beyond. Late last year, the Ortega administration presented a set of reforms that, among other things, called for an end to presidential term limits. At the time, Nicaraguan presidents were limited to two nonconsecutive terms, a rule Ortega ignored when he participated in--and then won--the 2011 election. Three weeks ago, the Asamblea Nacional, Nicaragua’s legislature, gave the sweeping amendments final approval. Ortega is now free to seek re-election as many times as we wants. A win in 2016, should he run again, would give the wily Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional leader his third consecutive presidential term and fourth overall. Benjamin Witte-Lebhar Read More

The Hague Resolves Peruvian-Chilean Maritime Dispute
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Jan. 27 resolved a six-year maritime border dispute between Peru and Chile. However, the decision sparked a new conflict regarding a triangle of land in the border area. The ICJ verdict last month, which is final and binding, states "that the maritime boundary between the Parties starts at the intersection of the parallel of latitude passing through Boundary Marker No. 1 with the low-water line, and extends for 80 nautical miles along that parallel of latitude to Point A. From this point, the maritime boundary runs along the equidistance line to Point B, and then along the 200-nautical-mile limit measured from the Chilean baselines to Point C." While Chile had argued that the limit began at Marker 1, Peru had countered that the beginning was at the Punto de la Concordia, 300 meters southeast of the coastal border. Elsa Chanduví Jaña Read More

Government Downplays "Silver" Anniversary Of Dictator Alfredo Stroessner’s Departure
Paraguay marked the 25th anniversary earlier this month of its return to democracy following three and one-half decades of bloody civic-military dictatorship under Gen. Alfredo Stroessner (1954–1989). Stroessner’s was the longest-running single-leader dictatorship in Latin American history. The Somoza dynasty in Nicaragua lasted longer (43 years) but involved three different heads of state (a father and two sons) and was interrupted at various times. And yet for all its significance, reactions to the anniversary, on Feb. 3, were markedly subdued, particularly by the government. There were a few academic events and a few television news items dedicated to the issue. Andrés Gaudín Read More

CELAC Summit in Cuba and Violence in Venezuela
The II Summit of the Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC) took place Jan. 28-29 in Havana, Cuba. Thirty-three heads of state from the region took part; however, the US and Canadian heads of states were not invited. Cuban President Raúl Castro said one aim of the summit was to "rethink the relationship with transnational corporations and improve coordination between regional organizations." He also talked about the importance of establishing a new paradigm of integration, based, fundamentally, on greater cooperation between regional organizations such as the Southern Cone Common Market (MERCOSUR), the Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América (ALBA), Petrocaribe, the Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (UNASUR), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and the Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana (SICA). Crosby Girón Read More

Meeting of Mexican, U.S., Canadian Leaders Described as Lackluster
On, Feb. 19, President Enrique Peña Nieto hosted his counterparts from the US and Canada for a summit in Toluca, the capital of his native México state. And, as expected, Peña Nieto’s meeting with US President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was an uneventful gathering that resulted in no new agreements, at least none that were made public. This has been the case each year since the annual summit was begun under ex-President George W. Bush in 2005 to promote greater economic partnerships and cross-border initiatives. The three North American leaders reportedly did not spend much time on issues that have been a source of friction, including the lack of immigration reform in the US and alleged US spying on Peña Nieto, and Canada’s insistence that visas be required for Mexicans visiting that country. Carlos Navarro Read More

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