As early as January of 2005, high-ranking officials were discussing the best way to sell the idea of North American “integration” to the public and policymakers while getting around national constitutions. The prospect of creating a monetary unit to replace national currencies was a hot topic as well.
A high-ranking Mexican drug-cartel operative extradited to the United States claimed in a recent court filing that he was actually trafficking tons of cocaine on behalf of the American federal government, prompting a media frenzy in Latin America but almost no coverage in the U.S. press.
The April 24 Washington Post reported an update of the findings of Mexican mass graves, revealing a shocking level of butchery employed by the killers. The body count has climbed to 177 (and is expected to rise) recovered from graves found near ranches close to San Fernando in Mexico’s northern state of Tamaulipas. Most of the civilian victims were abducted from passenger busses, and authorities say that few bullet casings and little evidence have been recovered that would indicate the victims died from gunshot wounds. The cause of death for most was blunt force trauma to the head.
On Tuesday, Cuba announced that José Ramón Machado, 80, would fill the second highest position in the Communist Party, putting him in line to possibly succeed President Raul Castro. The New York Times notes that the announcement was significant as it was the first time since 1959 that “someone other than the Castro brothers” was selected to fill such a prominent position.
The grim litany of gang murders, tortures, and outright butchery by drug cartel members in Mexico has rendered the region near the international border almost untenable, and the latest discovery of 145 bodies in mass graves near San Fernando has precipitated a crisis in the logistics of dealing with death. The Houston Chronicle reported on Friday that the Mexican morgues were overwhelmed, and 70 of the bodies had been moved to Mexico City on Thursday.
Four and one-half years of violent conflict between drug cartels and the government have brought unimaginable bloodshed to the people of Mexico, and now one of that nation’s most highly placed law enforcement officials is predicting that it may be as much as four more years before the violence will begin to subside.
When billionaire George Soros wrote two years ago that what the world needed now was “a new world architecture,” he was already laying plans for Bretton Woods II, April 8-11, 2011, to be held at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire (pictured, left).
Canadians are headed for the polls again, showing how shaky politics has become in such countries. Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party “won” a general election in early 2006 by garnering more seats than any other party. The other three major parties — Liberal (or “Grits”), New Democrat Party, and Bloc Québécois (the French separatist party) — each held significant numbers in the Parliament (pictured). Conservatives gained 24 seats for a total of 125; Liberals lost 32 seats for a total of 103; the New Democrats gained 10 seats for 29 total; and Bloc Québécois lost 3 seats down to 51; there was 1 independent.
As a means to increase government revenues, which the government says will help reduce the nation’s ever-expanding federal deficit, the Department of Homeland Security is looking into a proposed change to border crossing policies that would force Canadians looking to visit the United States, arriving via air or sea, to pay more for the privilege.
The almost unrestrained drug trafficking in Mexico has pushed violent drug wars deeper into Central America, as drugs are funneled through small countries ill-equipped to handle the squeeze of traffickers using their shores, ports, and jungles for smuggling. The New York Times reported on March 23 that, even though traffickers have used Central American points for stopovers since the 70’s, “crackdowns on criminal organizations in Mexico and Colombia [and the Caribbean] have increasingly brought the powerful drug syndicates here [Honduras].” The seven tiny countries are now no longer just “stopovers” but territory coveted by cartels, and the scenes of escalating drug violence.