Russia at our back door

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Foreign News Report

The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican and Central and South American on-line media sources on a daily basis. You are free to disseminate this information, but we request that you credit NAFBPO as being the provider.
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Wednesday, 2/17/10

Prensa Libre (Guatemala City, Guatemala) 2/16/10

Russia at our back door

Sergei Lavrov, Chancellor of the Russian Federation, signed an accord with the Guatemalan government to support the combat against drug traffic, including furnishing “special equipment” for the security forces. The Russian diplomat did not want to specify whether it consists of rifles, helicopters, launches or other types of military equipment, but said that this and other accords will be finalized in March during the visit to Russia of (Guatemala’s) President Alvaro Colom. Lavrov commented that the only document signed refers to the combat against drug traffic and organized crime. He added, “But we are developing technical and military cooperation between the two countries, and today there was manifest Guatemalan interest in its continuation.”

At a press conference, Lavrov stated, “This accord contemplates a vast cooperation, including the interchange of information, the training of professionals, joint exercises and supplying of special equipment for anti-drug operations.” Both Lavrov and Haroldo Rodas, the Guatemalan Chancellor, agreed that more concrete accords will be reached due to Colom’s visit to Russia.

Russia has, little by little, become the main supplier of weapons in Latin America, since it has reached agreements with Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador & Bolivia. In those countries it has sold military gear such as helicopters and even submarines. A Russian Embassy has just been opened in Guatemala City.

(A related article appears in today’s “Excelsior” (Mexico City.)  It describes Lavrov’s subsequent visit to Mexico, Russia’s diplomatic offensive in the area, and its efforts at a much higher level of participation in the strategic and economic affairs of Latin America. The second link below relates to the Spanish language “Excelsior” article.)


La Prensa Grafica (San Salvador, El Salvador) 2/16/10

Smuggled aliens nabbed

Mexican federal police detained 41 Central Americans, including 7 minors, who were found traveling hidden in the false bottom of a truck trailer. The arrest took place near San Cristobal de las Casas, state of Chiapas. The group of aliens being smuggled consisted of 12 Salvadorans, 25 Guatemalans and 4 Hondurans. “According to (Mexico’s) National Human Rights Commission, some 500,000 aliens, mostly Central Americans, enter Mexico each year through the border with Guatemala, seeking to reach the United States.”


El Diario (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 2/16/10

“The first Hispanic President” [full transl. of op/col. by Jorge Ramos, titled as above]

I am convinced that the first latino President of the United States has already been born. But that Hispanic, male or female, will have to go against the current to reach the White House. His life, without doubt, will be more difficult than that of the majority of the country. Nine of every 10 latinos do not have a college degree. Those 9 are out of the White House and of millions of jobs. A third of latinos doesn’t even finish high school for very different reasons – financial problems, lack of family support, low expectations. And thus they kill their future.

A short while back I met with a group of young people who left school. One had to work to support his brothers. Another one got into selling drugs to survive. One other was bored in school, and his parents weren’t able to convince him to go on with his studies. None had reached 20 years of age, but their faces were already lined with pessimism. They already perceived that their life, without high school, would go from bad to worse.

The first female latina president is going to have to overcome the terrible tendency of our young people who drop out of school and who don’t go to college. The first male latino president is also going to have to fight to not get gravely ill. According to a University of Texas study, half of all the latino babies are going to develop diabetes in their lifetime. One of every four Mexican-American children is obese. Combining hamburgers, hotdogs and pizzas with tacos, tamales and burritos is (like) a bomb for one’s health (and for any stomach.)

Hispanics eat poorly, not because they want to, but because it’s cheaper. Sixty-eight percent of the calories eaten by the poorest children of the United States (among which are the latinos) come from pizzas, potato chips, hamburgers and soft drinks.

The first Hispanic president is going to need that his parents help him (her) eat healthfully to keep from dying of a heart attack in the middle of a political career. That is part of the message of the new campaign against obesity by the First Lady, Michelle Obama.

But despite the educational and health problems among Hispanics, the future is promissory. There are more of us than ever before. The census this year will confirm that there are more than 50 million latinos, and that inside a century (from now) we will be a majority in the United States. It’s true that we have very little political representation. We have only one senator (Mel Martinez in New Jersey,) only one governor (Bill Richardson in New Mexico,) and a bit more than 20 congresspersons. But we have already broken all the barriers. Several latinos have reached space. Sonia Sotomayor is the first latina judge in the Supreme Court of Justice. We are only lacking the White House.

The argument is simple: there are more Hispanics than Afro-Americans in the United States, the Afro-Americans already have Barack Obama as their first president, then it’s the Hispanics’ turn. It’s the politics of what’s possible. There are few moments in history when what seemed impossible materializes and, suddenly, the country fills with hope. It happened with the election of Obama in 2008, and of Ronald Reagan in 1980. It also happened with Vicente Fox in Mexico and with Nelson Mandela in South Africa. They are “magic” moments.

I am sure that another of those “magic” moments awaits us when the first latino wins the presidency of the United States. And we are preparing for that moment. One of the things that most moves me when I travel to promote my books in the United States is that families take me to their children during the presentations and tell me, ”Look, this is Alexandra and she is going to be the first Hispanic president of the country,” or “What do you think of Jose for President?”

I think it is fine. It’s, simply, the power of an idea at the correct moment.


El Porvenir (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon) 2/16/10

“We are Mexico” [portions of an op/col. by Jose Manuel Gomez, titled as shown]

We Mexicans have been changing. What one day was despondency, (and) apathy begins to change and it is taking on a new mode in the social leaders who have been developing by themselves. Every day, there’s a new social group that presses on to obtain the changes that Mexico clamors for and demands with urgency. It is up to the government to deal with this popular clamor. It is the government’s duty to attend to the social unrest, because, if it ignores it, it will be unable to contain the social irritation. And every time we are more, we are many, many more, WE ARE MEXICO.

Death count

Felipe Gonzalez, “president of the Security Commission” (read: chairman of the Security Committee) of Mexico’s Senate, said that approximately 17 thousand persons have been assassinated in Mexico during the first half of the current administration, from Dec. 2006 to the last month of 2009. Of the total, 1,005 were police officers.


El Debate (Culiacan, Sinaloa) 2/16/10

More inhumanity in Sinaloa

The beheaded and dismembered remains of five persons were left on a street corner in Palmillas, near Escuinapa, Sinaloa. This is just a block away from where two other human heads were left in front of a restaurant and a grade school last week (M3 Report of 2/10/10) “The heads were left on the sidewalk of the old tortilla shop and the dismembered bodies were placed on the street next to the others.” (Other than the preceding, the following are headlines from the Sinaloa police news section)

  • Two young men who were abducted in Guamuchil are executed
  • Police officers carried off in Campo Esperanza are found executed
  • One city policeman is assassinated and another one is wounded
  • Municipal police agent is shot to death


El Informador (Guadalajara, Jalisco) 2/16/10

An acid process

Near Tequila, Jalisco, an anonymous call led police to locate a plastic barrel full of liquid acid. Also inside the barrel: human remains “in a severe state of decomposition due to the acid in the barrel.”

(A separate item in this paper included a report from the Jalisco office of Mexico’s “PGR” (equiv. to the Dep’t. of Justice.) It detailed activities for the month of January in Jalisco, but was written with enough ambiguity to cause doubt as to certain figures. We can report that over 7 tons of marihuana, 92 hand guns, 21 “long barrel” firearms and 2,077 rounds of ammo were seized and that 965 persons were arrested.)


La Cronica de Hoy (Mexico City) 2/16/10

Reynosa in the news

Mexico’s “PGR” (see above) reported the following operational results in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, during the month of January:

  • 132 firearms, 23 grenades, 11,000 rounds of ammo and 349 clips seized
  • 15 tons of marihuana seized
  • 204 arrests made


This year, Mexico will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of its independence and the 100th anniversary of the “Mexican Revolution.” The cartoon below, titled “Bi-Centennial and Centennial,” is from “Cambio de Michoacan” (Morelia, Michoacan); it offers a more resigned response to those two anniversaries. The man on the left says: “The time has gone by, old woman.” She responds: “And we’re just as f—ed as ever, old man.”

-end of report –

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