Monday, 07 May 2012

South American Union Seeks Regional Law Enforcement

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As Latin American governments continue marching toward ever-closer “integration” under transnational bodies like the socialist-dominated Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), regional leaders are now calling for what essentially amounts to a continental police force. The authoritarian regime ruling Venezuela, meanwhile, is attempting to erect a new hemispheric “human rights commission” that excludes the U.S. government.

During a ministerial UNASUR meeting held in Cartagena last week, senior officials representing the 12 member governments demanded the creation of a regional "Council for Public Safety, Justice and Cooperation." According to the member-states’ Ministers in attendance — Justice, Interior, Defense, and Foreign Relations — transnational crime represents among the most serious problems facing the region.

"One of the major threats to democracy today comes from the power of organized crime that establishes or seeks to establish, in some places, a sort of parallel power and tries to control portions of the state," explained Peru's Foreign Minister Rafael Roncagliolo. "Organized crime not only represents a major transnational economic power but also a threat to the states."

There are numerous different criminal problems ravishing Latin America, officials explained during the summit. The trafficking of drugs, humans, and weapons, for example, are among the most serious threats. Other criminal enterprises that officials said should be tackled jointly include illegal mining, money laundering, corruption, cybercrime, and more.

"Crime knows nothing about borders, and the struggle against it will only be effective if it is based on cooperation from all countries," said Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon during a speech at the summit, urging his counterparts throughout South America and various government ministries to create new regional bodies to oversee the efforts. In addition to Colombia, the regional body includes Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. 

Speaking to reporters after the UNASUR meetings, Pinzon reiterated his demands and claimed that there was popular support for the controversial scheme. “There is now a broad consensus in South America to address transnational crime in a coordinated manner," the Defense chief was quoted as saying. It was not immediately clear whether he was referring to a “consensus” among government officials or the people of the region.  

According to news reports, the summit concluded by calling for the formation of a working group to develop laws and an “action plan” to create the new regional security body. Before becoming official, however, the proposed council must be approved at an upcoming gathering of UNASUR member presidents this July.

Though not formally discussed during last week’s summit, the Hugo Chavez regime in Venezuela took the opportunity to push for a new regional “human rights commission.” Under the proposal, which could take shape through any number of transnational integration entities developing in Latin America, the socialist ruler would consider leaving the “Inter-American Commission on Human Rights” because of the U.S. government’s influence over it. 

“We are hoping that through UNASUR, through CELAC [Community of Latin American and Caribbean States], we can quickly ... create organizations linked to the issue of human rights,” Venezuela's Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro was quoted as saying by the Associated Press, apparently suggesting a push for a novel understanding of the term human rights. The U.S. government – Chavez calls it the “Yankee Empire” - would not be invited to participate. 

Meanwhile, Colombia, which has traditionally been perceived as a bulwark against the surging “pink tide” socialist domination of the continent, is now cheerleading for the integration process, too. But as the national government continues to surrender sovereignty to the rapidly expanding continental apparatus, the Colombian people will undoubtedly find themselves increasingly governed by the region’s totalitarian-minded regimes.

Ironically, most of the Marxist narco-terrorist groups waging a decades-long war against Colombia, including the infamous Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), are closely affiliated with governments in the region. The government of Brazil – a key driver in the expansion of the regional left and the “integration” process - has even been sheltering FARC leader Francisco Antonio Cadena (also known as Oliverio Medina) despite his being wanted by Colombian authorities on terrorism charges.    

“The pro-communist government in Brazil did not only assure political asylum to Mr. Medina, but even gave a public office to his wife. This generous gift was an initiative of [current Brazilian President] Mrs. Dilma Roussef, a member of [former President] Lula’s Cabinet at that time,” acclaimed Brazilian author and philosopher Prof. Olavo de Carvalho, an expert on the communist resurgence in the region, told The New American in an e-mail. “She denied the fact, but later some hard-nosed journalists found her signature on the appointment decree.”

Throughout Latin America, a shadowy alliance of socialist and communist political parties, criminal groups, and other organizations are seizing power under the innocuously named “Foro de Sao Paulo” (FSP), or Sao Paulo Forum. Formed by former Brazilian President Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva, communist dictator Fidel Castro, the Sandinistas, and other prominent characters, the network has remained largely below the radar despite controlling some two thirds of the region’s governments.

But according to Prof. Carvalho - who played a crucial role in publicly exposing the FSP – Colombia’s Marxist guerillas still maintain close ties to Brazil’s ruling elite. “The alliance between the Workers’ Party (Lula’s party) and the FARC is not a matter of conjecture, but an absolute certainty, since Mr. Lula presided over the São Paulo Forum for many years in close association with Manuel Marulanda, the high commander of the Colombian guerilla,” he explained. “The fact is confirmed by the proceedings of the Forum general assemblies.”

Still, despite the well-known nexus between Marxist terror networks and politics in the region, even Colombia’s new President Juan Manuel Santos threw his support behind UNASUR’s effort to erect the new continental crime-fighting body. "Only together can we end transnational organized crime,” Santos was quoted as saying after the summit. “Criminals must know that there will not be a single place where they can hide when nations come together."

UNASUR, which officially came into force last year, has been quickly expanding its role in the region. Modeled after the European Union, the entity and its affiliates have already created a dizzying array of integration schemes on everything from military cooperation and security to health and energy. And last year, two socialists were selected to become the continental body’s first leaders – one from Colombia, the other from Venezuela.  

After witnessing the spectacular crisis surrounding the Euro in recent years, Latin American governments decided to put their own single-currency scheme on hold. But the EU has already created its own fledgling law enforcement agency known as Europol, and Latin American governments seem determined to follow in Europe’s footsteps.

UNASUR and other regional entities like CELAC and the overtly socialist ALBA, meanwhile, continue to rapidly expand and consolidate power at the expense of national sovereignty. The process is often helped along by the U.S. government — albeit quietly — despite Latin American claims that empowering the transnational bodies will reduce American influence there.

Meanwhile, Russia and China are becoming increasingly influential in the hemisphere, pouring massive investment into the region while cooperating closely with national governments. Leaders like Chavez have hailed the developments, claiming to be creating what he touted as a “New World Order” during a trip to Beijing.

Critics, however, are not quite as enthusiastic - and many are fighting back, arguing that what the region needs is more freedom, not more government or more integration. The new order, opponents say, will almost certainly be darker than the old; especially for the populations of the relatively liberty-minded nations like Costa Rica and Chile that are still standing.     

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