January 1, 2010 |
Almost everything to do with the Mexican government's war against drugs is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The threat from narco-trafficking is overblown. Fighting cartels won't stop the flow of illegal drugs or erase Mexican corruption. The real battle over drugs lies on the U.S. side of the border. That's the gist of a provocative new book that challenges virtually every premise on which Mexican President Felipe Calderon has based his 3-year-old offensive against drug cartels. "El Narco: La Guerra Fallida" ("Narco: The Failed War")
March 23, 2010 |
When Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on drug cartels in 2006, he summoned his military to serve as the tip of the spear. Since then, nearly 50,000 uniformed Mexican military personnel have manned roadblocks, patrolled cities haunted by drug killings and raided houses in search of traffickers and contraband. But as doubts mount over the effectiveness of Calderon's anti-drug crusade, with its death toll of 18,000 people, so do the political risks for Mexico's military, traditionally one of the nation's most trusted institutions.
June 21, 2009
Re "$3.2 million for legislators' cars," June 16 I think a state-provided vehicle is a reasonable allowance that can help a legislator do his or her job effectively. But, as a California taxpayer, I do not like paying for luxury vehicles when basic transportation will do. Particularly galling is Sen. Ron Calderon's (D-Montebello) decision to bill us nearly $40,000 for a Cadillac. Calderon's comment in your story is both evasive and unctuous: "If there is a decision to disallow the use of vehicles in the district, I would happily surrender the vehicle I now drive in commonality with the sacrifices others are making in these difficult economic times."
December 2, 2010 |
In contrast to their upbeat public assessments, U.S. officials expressed frustration with a "risk averse" Mexican army and rivalries among security agencies that have hampered the Mexican government's war against drug cartels, according to secret U.S. diplomatic cables disclosed Thursday. The cables quoted Mexican officials expressing fear that the government was losing control of parts of its national territory and that time was "running out" to rein in drug violence. The cables gave a much starker view of the pitfalls and obstacles facing Mexican President Felipe Calderon, a departure from the public statements of unwavering support that have come out of Washington for most of the 4-year-old war, which has claimed more than 30,000 lives.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 24, 2009 |
Driving into Mexico has been a largely hassle-free experience for decades: There were few customs inspectors, even fewer gates, and for most border crossers, no questions asked. That's about to change. The Mexican government is modernizing its ports of entry along the border, including its biggest crossing in Tijuana. The new infrastructure -- which includes gates, cameras and vehicle scales -- is meant to help curtail the flow of drug money and weapons to Mexican organized crime groups.
March 7, 2012 |
In early December, Liu Zhangning was tending her cabbage patch when she saw a tall yellow construction crane in the distance. At night, the work lights made it seem like day. Fifteen days later, a 30-story hotel towered over her village on the outskirts of the city like a glass and steel obelisk. "I couldn't really believe it," Liu said. "They built that thing in under a month. " A time-lapse video of the project in Changsha, which shows the prefabricated building being assembled on site, has racked up more than 5 million views on YouTube and left Western architects speechless.