Mexico

Mexico: notorious kingpin Caro Quintero freed

Posted on August 10th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

MexicoMexico's most notorious kingpin, Rafael Caro Quintero, was released Aug. 9 from Puente Grande federal prison in Jalisco where he had been incarcerated for the past 28 years. He left the facility at dawn, several hours before the release order was made public. The First Appellate Tribunal in Guadalajara found in March that Caro Quintero was improperly tried for the 1985 torture-killing of DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, and that charges should have been brought at the state rather than federal level. Federal prosecutors immediately appealed to the Supreme Justice Court of the Nation, which refused to rescind the lower court's decision. The Third Circuit Tribunal, also in Guadalajara, has now followed through by issuing Caro Quintero an amparo—a judicial order barring any federal action against him.

Fox: Mexico could legalize cannabis within five years

Posted on July 25th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

MexicoFormer Mexican president Vicente Fox last week presided over an international conference in his home state of Guanajuato, hosted by his private think-tank Centro Fox and dubbed the US-Mexico Symposium on Legalization and Medical Use of Cannabis. Joining Fox at the confab were ex-Microsoft executive James Shively, who plans to create the first US national marijuana brand, as well as a wide range of activists and academics that included former Mexican health minister Julio Frenk. Asked by Reuters whether Mexico could legalize cannabis by the time current president Enrique Peña Nieto's term ends in 2018, Fox said: "I think it's going to happen much sooner. Once California gets into this, Mexico is going to be obligated to speed up its decision process." (Reuters, July 24; Correo, Guanajuato, Latino Daily News, July 21; Reuters, El Universal, July 20)

'Drug war' dissent at OAS summit

Posted on June 8th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Central AmericaMore than 160 civil society organizations representing hundreds of thousands of citizens in Mexico, Central America and the United States, sent an open letter to the OAS General Assembly meeting in the Guatemalan city of Antigua this week,  calling for alternatives to the "war on drugs" that guarantee respect for human rights. "Our organizations have documented an alarming increase in violence and human rights violations. While we recognize that transnational crime and drug-trafficking play a role in this violence, we call on our governments to acknowledge that failed security policies that have militarized citizen security have only exacerbated the problem, and are directly contributing to increased human suffering in the region," the letter states.

Mormon mom back home after Mexican marijuana misadventure

Posted on June 3rd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

MexicoYanira Maldonado's Mexican nightmare began May 22 when she was arrested for possession of 12.5 pounds of cannabis, and ended nine days later when the mother of seven was released from a Nogales jail. Returning to Arizona from Mexico with her husband Gary after attending a family funeral, the Turfesa bus they were on was stopped at a military checkpoint in Sonora. Federales supposedly spotted packages of marijuana under their seats. First Gary was arrested, then the troops changed their minds and booked Yanira instead. The Maldonados, who are Mormons from the Phoenix area, maintained their innocence throughout. A Facebook page created to support them won more than 12,500 members. (CelebStoner, CNN, May 31; CNN, May 28)

Will OAS summit broach drug decrim?

Posted on June 3rd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

Central AmericaAs the  Organization of American States (OAS) summit opens under tight security in the historic Guatemalan city of Antigua—some 2,000 army and National Police troops deployed—fighting narco-trafficking is certain to top the agenda. Secretary of State John Kerry will be in attendance, with US Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske—prepared to oppose initiatives to reconsider the "war on drugs," including from Guatemala's otherwise arch-conservative President Otto Pérez Molina. But it remains to be seen if the summit will take up the iconoclastic recommendations of a draft report on drug policy released by the OAS last month. When the ground-breaking report was issued, OAS Secretary-General José Miguel Insulza asserted, "this is not a conclusion but only the beginning of a long-awaited discussion." As the Guatemala summit opened June 3, he reiterated that the report will not be officially adopted by the international body, but that "it will be only a platform for discussion." This equivocation will doubtless be welcome in Washington, given the report's open dissidence from generations of "drug war" dogma.

Mixed signals from UN on Drug War

Posted on March 17th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

earthHelen Clark, head of the UN Development Program, speaking ahead of a March 14 presentation of the UNDP's 2013 Human Development Report, offered a surprise critique of the global war on drugs, saying Latin American leaders should develop new policies. "I've been a health minister in my past and there's no doubt that the health position would be to treat the issue of drugs as primarily a health and social issue rather than a criminalized issue," Clark told Reuters. "Once you criminalize, you put very big stakes around. Of course, our world has proceeded on the basis that criminalization is the approach."

Cannabis cannon discovered in Mexicali

Posted on March 1st, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

MexicoPolice in the border city of Mexicali on Feb. 27 announced the discovery of a powerful improvised cannon used to hurl packets of marijuana across the border fence into California. Police told Mexico's Televisa network the device consisted of a plastic pipe and a metal tank that used compressed air from the engine of an old car. The apparatus fired cannabis-packed cylinders weighing up to 13 kilos, police said. It was confiscated after US officers informed Mexican police that they had found a large number of drug packages that appeared to have been fired over the border. (AP, Feb. 27)

Political economy of Mexico's narco-nightmare

Posted on January 21st, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

Drug War MexicoAs nightmarish violence continues in Mexico, with horrific massacres and chaotic urban warfare right on the USA's southern border, a couple of academics at England’s University of Sheffield provide a readable 250-page primer on why this is happening now, and take a stab at what can be done to address the crisis—other than escalating it with militarization.

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