NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FORMER BORDER PATROL OFFICERS
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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.
El Universal (Mexico City) 5/21/10
Convincing the convinced
(El Universal editorial:)
President Felipe Calderón yesterday gave a speech filled with high patriotic content. With language that recalled that of Belisario Dominguez (a Mexican patriot), he firmly berated the errors committed daily in the United States on two issues: the intolerance of Mexican migration and the arms traffic into our country. On 27 occasions, he received applause from the neighboring legislators and also from some Mexican parliamentarians who came with him on the official visit to Washington. According to the news, Beatriz Paredes, director of the PRI (political party) as well as Carlos Navarrete, PRD (political party) leader demonstrated signs of nationalistic euphoria on hearing the chief of their State.
Nevertheless, contrasted in this surrounding was the attitude of the Republican Party representatives in the capitol. While the Democrats cheered him, their opponents showed signs of discomfort at first, and then of clear discourtesy. The statements of Republican Senator Orrin Hatch to disqualify the opinions of the Mexican president gave proof of that. He accused him of having meddled, in a most disrespectful way, in the internal politics of his country. It would be fitting, with this thought in mind, to imagine what we Mexicans would say if Barack Obama had taken the microphone on the highest dais of our nation to scold us for our errors and mistakes.
Not only are we Mexicans very nationalistic, our neighbor can be even more so. And the history between the two countries offers abundant proof of what occurs when the two identities collide with one another: Mexico and the United States start becoming even more distant countries. From that perspective, adding to the latent polarization regarding Mexican-American issues existing in that country could be considered more as an error than as a success.
Our president decided to make a speech to convince the convinced and, at the same time, to rudely disqualify those who are not backing immigration reform or effective regulation of arms traffic. With that, he won 27 ovations, but also, perhaps, lost the last chance during his term to offer arguments that would lead the critics of Mexico to reconsider their positions. Strong words or acts are the best way to assure that things don’t happen. Perhaps this will be the outcome provoked by Calderón’s speech day before yesterday in the Capitol.
(One readers’ comment puts Calderon’s trip into historical context: “When they celebrate the bicentennial and the centennial of the Revolution, one must think of Zapata. Zapata fought and died for the right to work the soil of his native land. The present president goes about begging work from the gringos for his people. What would Zapata and Villa say?)
“WP: Obama should show courage like Calderón”
Reporting from a story in the Washington Post, Mexican correspondent J. Jaime Hernandez observed that the Post considers that President Obama’s administration has not given the best efforts needed to put a halt to the illegal arms business, which would put a halt to organized crime. Hernandez notes that the Post sided with Mexico’s President Calderón when it considered that Obama has to demonstrate the same courage to put a stop to illegal arms traffic since the Mexican president “has shown clear resolve” before Congress.
Mexico loses 50% of its international tourism
According to the World Organization of Tourism, Mexico should receive 50 million international tourists per year and only 21.5 million have arrived. This makes it necessary to change promotion strategy and aspects of policy at the federal level. The Secretary of Tourism of the Federal District said that for Mexico to be a world power the most important aspects to consider are language, image, perception and public policy. He considered that in reference toward narcotraffic, the word “war” should be abandoned because it gives Europeans the wrong idea. “We are not at war,” he emphasized.
Calderón pitches tourism
A new program, The Routes of Mexico, has been announced for the purpose of giving a fresh breath of air to tourism in the country. President Felipe Calderón introduced the program from his official residence, Los Pinos, at a dinner with businessmen. The 10 routes he described connect the 31 states of the country and the Federal District as a new way to become acquainted with the country “whose cultural and natural touristic diversity permits it to be one of the best destinations in the world.”
Don’t swim in the river
An eight-foot-long crocodile was discovered dead on the side of the Reynosa-Nuevo Laredo highway near the Rio Grande in Tamaulipas state. The croc was identified by biologist Fernando Lagunes Alvarez of the University of Tamaulipas as a fresh water “crocodylus moreletii,” an endangered species.
El Sol de Mexico (Mexico City) 5/21/10
Chihuahua fighting for number one
Between Thursday and Friday, the fighting between drug cartels in the state of Chihuahua has cost the lives of 23 people. Apparently all had links to organized crime. In this latest wave of violence, Cd. Juarez only contributed five victims.
Relations between Mexico and US at its best
Mexico City – Gustavo Madero, a leading senator of President Calderon’s PAN party, assured that relations between Mexico and the US are at one of their best levels. ”A level of confidence, of understanding, of empathy, of collaboration and of agreement on the principal issues”, he asserted.
Cambio de Michoacán (Morelia, Michoacán) 5/21/10
Opinions differ on Calderón’s visit
President Calderón’s visit to the US and his speech before Congress was met with differing opinions among the legislators in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies (House). For Jose Narro Cespedes (PRD party) it was “a scenographic act in which there were no answers or results to the concerns of the Mexican people.” Green Party member Pablo Escudero said that “it was a good speech that should result in immediate public policy.” On the other hand, PRI party member Carlos Flores Rico rated the president’s speech as “lukewarm” aimed at the next elections since it lacked concrete suggestions. A member of the president’s party (PAN) Carlos Alberto Perez Cuevas said the speech “met expectations” and assured that “it is an excellent advance in bilateral relations” that will have results.
Norte (Ciudad Juarez) 5/21/10
Sonora governor rates Arizona issue above those of his state
Sonora’s Governor Jose Reyes Baeza Terrazas rejects Arizona law SB 1070 that “attacks his countrymen living in that state and others who, for their Latino appearance, can be arrested by the police.” Regarding his own state’s concerns, the governor said, “The most important is the issue of the Arizona law, more than the matter of security, more than police unification.”
La Voz de la Frontera (Mexicali, Baja California) 5/21/10
Imperial Valley to boycott Arizona
Representatives of immigrant and human rights organizations in the Imperial Valley of Southern California agreed to boycott the state of Arizona until its government abolishes the so-called Arizona law that “criminalizes” all Latinos on suspicion of being in the country illegally. The organizations call on others to mount a fight against discrimination. They charge that the law is unconstitutional because it “criminalizes Latinos simply because of the color of their skin.”
La Jornada (Mexico City) 5/21/10
Sovereignty, a looming surrender
(A rather windy editorial, condensed)
Yesterday, in his official visit to the United States, President Calderón placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Virginia, in homage to the Mexican-American soldiers killed in US military campaigns. The president thus broke a tacit prohibition kept through all prior presidential terms that prevents the head of the Mexican State from visiting that place. The motive of that symbolic reservation was simply that the cemetery contains soldiers who were in wars against us and in which Mexico lost more than half its territory.
We must not forget that for two centuries, the US has been the main threat to the national security and the most responsible for affronts to Mexican sovereignty. A visit to Arlington is the equivalent to accepting the offenses for which they have never accepted blame or offered compensation. The president’s gesture was unnecessary. This act was so inappropriate. By giving homage to soldiers of Mexican origin who died in US wars, the government of Mexico gives its approval of such wars, invariably against international rights, national sovereignty and human rights, as in Panama, Afghanistan and Iraq in recent times. All have stains of atrocity and of plunder like the attacks by Washington against our country in the 19th and 20th centuries.
For these reasons, it is unavoidable to see the presence of Calderón at Arlington as a surrender of sovereignty, the most recent in a clearly defined line: the Merida Initiative, which gives authority to US agencies to meddle in our internal affairs, and again, in Washington, Calderón asked the assistance of the DEA and FBI in an internal investigation, tacitly admitting our incapacity in the “war against organized crime.”
El Financiero (Mexico City) 5/22/10
45 US states debate new immigration laws
Notimex, San Diego – At least 45 of the 50 US states are debating new immigration laws, many of them replicas of Arizona’s “anti-immigrant” legislation, according to the Los Angeles Times. This trend indicates that the country will have a variety of “state legislative patches” on immigration matters, which will not carry out a national immigration reform. In the first trimester of this year, 45 states debated 1,800 initiatives, of which 107 were approved, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. During 2009, the 50 states approved 222 new immigration laws. The Los Angeles Times emphasized that legislators and candidates are divided on the immigration issue, especially those who need Latino votes to win or maintain office in elections this year.
Migrants attaining integration in Omaha, Nebraska
The Hispanic population in Omaha, Nebraska, has grown by 338 percent in the past 18 years, making this one of the most attractive cities for migrants in the US. The majority of them are Mexican. The city has programs specifically to promote the socioeconomic integration of the migrants. According to a study of Mexicans and Central Americans, the population of those born outside the country increased 338 percent between 1990 and 2008. The city has put in place programs to teach English, finance, access to health programs and job training, which have had good results.
El Universal (Mexico City) 5/22/10
Proposal to combat human trafficking in Mexico
Chiapas – During the XV Regional Conference on Migration held in the southern state of Chiapas, vice-Ministers of North and Central America agreed to combat the traffic and smuggling of migrants. The assembly, consisting of representatives from Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, United States, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico, agreed to strengthen and normalize policies for the repatriation of undocumented migrants. The representatives from Guatemala and El Salvador demanded that Mexico stop the violence, maltreatment, abuses and murders committed against those without papers who transit across Mexico’s territory to reach the US. They cited in particular the recent assaults by federal police on undocumented Central Americans riding freight trains. There are abundant times the Salvadoran government has sent diplomatic notes expressing displeasure for assaults and abuses committed by Federal Police against migrants. The Mexican response is that they are investigating the complaints.
Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California) 5/22/10
Cash seizure in Tijuana
Responding to a citizen report, the Mexican Army seized $729,000 from a residence in Colonia Libertad in Tijuana. Although there were no arrests, the loss of this amount of cash is a “hard blow” to the criminal organizations that operate in the area, according to the National Defense Agency (Sedena). The military declined to offer more details of the operation.
El Sol de Mexico (Mexico City) 5/22/10
Mexico City – Raul Plascencia Villanueva, president of the Mexican National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH), requested that diplomatic channels be used to declare the Arizona law unconstitutional inasmuch as political and public condemnation has not been sufficient. He emphasized that in the second decade of 21st century it is not valid for discriminatory and racist laws like the one in Arizona to exist.
-end of report-