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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 03:38 AM
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Activists accuse Mexican president of war crimes in drug crackdown
Source: The Guardian

Mexican human rights activists have asked the international criminal court to investigate President Felipe Caldron, as well as top officials and the country's most-wanted drug trafficker, accusing them of allowing subordinates to kill, torture and kidnap civilians.

Netzai Sandoval, a Mexican human rights lawyer, filed a complaint with the ICC in The Hague on Friday, requesting an investigation of the deaths of hundreds of civilians at the hands of the military and traffickers.

More than 45,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since 2006 as powerful cartels fight security forces and each other for control of smuggling routes into the neighbouring United States and other countries.

"The violence in Mexico is bigger than the violence in Afghanistan, the violence in Mexico is bigger than in Colombia," Sandoval said.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/26/mexican-pre...
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 05:36 AM
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1. Criminals and politics go hand-in-hand. - K&R n/t
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 08:35 AM
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2. Activists accuse Mexican president of war crimes in drug crackdown
Source: The Guardian

Mexican human rights activists have asked the international criminal court to investigate President Felipe Caldron, as well as top officials and the country's most-wanted drug trafficker, accusing them of allowing subordinates to kill, torture and kidnap civilians.

Netzai Sandoval, a Mexican human rights lawyer, filed a complaint with the ICC in The Hague on Friday, requesting an investigation of the deaths of hundreds of civilians at the hands of the military and traffickers.

More than 45,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since 2006 as powerful cartels fight security forces and each other for control of smuggling routes into the neighbouring United States and other countries.

"The violence in Mexico is bigger than the violence in Afghanistan, the violence in Mexico is bigger than in Colombia," Sandoval said.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/26/mexican-pre...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Mexico's own little "President Select".
And every bit as disastrous for his country as Bush the Lesser was for us.
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 08:45 AM
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4. My first thought is the drug cartels instigated the charges to get some heat off
No filing of anything against the cartels. Mexico is fighting against some very dangerous and vicious animals. Not humans, but animals. Anything goes when dealing with this level of vermin.
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Muskypundit Donating Member (417 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 12:29 PM
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5. Hmmm. Everything better not go in their war on the cartels
And if that is their attitude maybe he should be charged war crimes
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 02:00 PM
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7. Well, people that don't live down here in S Texas don't understand
how bad it is there. They are dealing with vicious animals. Mexican authorities found another 23 dismembered bodies the other day in Guadalajara. Dismembered by the drug cartels.
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Muskypundit Donating Member (417 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Then it is no different than Iraq.
Only difference is I would be charged with a war crime if I killed a civilian I suspected was a insurgent/cartel member.

I suspect its not the curtailing of the cartels that is being called a war crime. It's the shades of grey, the people killed without trial who were suspects, torture of suspects, and other tactics outside of the law to try to combat the cartels.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 12:58 PM
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6. They've got it right. The "war on drugs" is itself a crime.
This corrupt, murderous, failed program was the prototype for the "war on terror." Both of them are war profiteer boondoggles. Both provide the premises for out-of-control government violation of civil and human rights, militarization of the police, state murder, state torture, state secrecy, the weaponizing of every encounter between the public and "the authorities" and creation of a vast fascist infrastructure that includes the 'justice' system, the prison-industrial complex, the military-industrial complex, all government 'intelligence' (spying/dirty tricks) agencies, all government policing agencies (the DEA, the FBI, the AFT, et al), the corporate press and numerous private 'contractors' feeding off the murder and mayhem, paid for by you and me.

Further, both create the opportunity for corruption on an unimaginable scale. The "war on drugs," in the hands of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, for instance, has, in my opinion, primarily become a method of consolidating the drug trade into fewer hands and direction of its trillion+ dollar illicit revenue stream to selected beneficiaries (U.S. banksters, the Bush Cartel, the CIA). I'm convinced that this is what has been going on in Colombia and now may be going in Mexico (and also Honduras). The "war on drugs" has been flipped over into its opposite. It is NOT a 'war' to eliminate drug trafficking; it is a handy, well-funded, exceedingly violent tool to profit from drug trafficking--both by pretending to eliminate it (war profiteering) and by using it to destroy uncooperative, independent, smaller drug operations in favor of the bigger, protected crime networks that entwine themselves into the political fabric of governments.

If you know anything about Colombia, you know that the criminal network and the rightwing political network are virtually one and the same. Some 70 of the closest political cronies of Bush pal Alvaro Uribe ('president' of Colombia during the Bush Junta) are under investigation or already in jail for drug trafficking, ties to the rightwing death squads, illegal domestic spying (which has been tied to the U.S. embassy) and other crimes. Uribe has been tied to rightwing death squads from the beginning of his career. A Jesuit priest from Uribe's home province recently wrote to Georgetown University officials, objecting to their honoring Uribe with academic sinecures at Georgetown and laying out Uribe's violent history. As 'president' Uribe used Colombia's intelligence agency, DAS, to spy on judges and prosecutors and likely also to develop "hit lists" of his "political enemies" such as trade unionists, human rights workers, teachers, community activists, peasant farmer organizers and other advocates of the poor, thousands of whom were murdered by the Colombian military and its closely tied rightwing paramilitaries. The Colombian military--infused with $7 BILLION in U.S. military aid--was also killing innocent youths, and dressing their bodies up like FARC guerrillas to up their "body counts" to win bonuses and promotions.

In addition, FIVE MILLION peasant farmers were displaced from their lands--the worst human displacement crisis on earth--by means of state terror. These were small family farms where a few coca plants might have been grown along with food crops. Their brutal removal from their land made way for the big drug lords to take it over (and also Monsanto for biofuel production and other corporate interests). There is more to say about this situation--the U.S. (Bushwhack) "war on drugs" in Colombia, including some 'tips of the iceberg' evidence that the U.S. military may have been directly involved in some of the killing (not just "training" and funding)--but what is plainly evident is that Uribe is a mafia boss who rose to political power by means of thuggery and rightwing demagoguery and was using the presidency of Colombia to protect and expand his criminal network. Bush Jr gave him the U.S. "Medal of Freedom"! That's how rancid U.S. policy has become.

What the Bush Junta did was to combine the "war on drugs" with the "war on terror" in Colombia, thus equating homegrown rebels--Colombian citizens who have been engaged in armed conflict with fascist governments for many decades--with stateless terrorists such as Al Qaeda. The upshot was to introduce the "war on terror" and its methods (torture, murder without trial, wanton murder of civilians, equating dissent with "terrorism," utter abandonment of human rights, and billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars) into a local civil war. The "war on drugs"--started by Nixon as a post-Vietnam war profiteer boondoggle and the beginning of the end of our civil rights--was thus mooshed together with other U.S. wars: with the corporate resource war in Iraq, with the war for "the pipeline" in Afghanistan (and no doubt the war for the heroine trade), with the U.S. torture dungeons around the world, with U.S. murder without trial around the world and the entire "war on terror" establishment, including the thousand or so U.S. military bases around the world, quite a few of them in Colombia (the spearhead of the Pentagon's "Southern Command").

Thus the U.S. makes war where there is none (merely illicit trade--not especially murderous and rarely involving the murder of innocents) and pours gasoline onto chronic conflicts turning them into a major war. Amnesty International attributes 92% of the murders of trade unionists in Colombia to the Colombian military (about half) and its closely tied rightwing paramilitaries (the other half) and only 2% to FARC guerrillas. This gives us a notion of the relative levels of violence of the Colombian military vs. the FARC. The Colombian military--funded by the U.S.--is by far the greater problem. The presence of guerrilla fighters is merely an excuse for a bloodbath against civilians, in the interest of the rich and the powerful and top criminals (those above the law; those running the government).

I remember when this occurred, late in the Bush Junta--when the "war on terror" was slipped into a funding bill for "Plan Colombia" (the "war on drugs"). I felt that this was ominous. Soon afterward--as a parting shot--came "Plan Merida" to expand U.S.-funded murder and mayhem into Mexico. The carnage in Mexico has not surprised me--although its magnitude has. The human rights lawyer above says that the violence in Mexico is "bigger than in Colombia." This may well be true. But Colombia is the key to understanding it. Both have been the result of combining the "war on drugs" with the "war on terror" thus making all targets of state power--including peaceful dissenters--eligible for murder without trial.

Combining these two fascist programs has resulted in bloodbaths in both countries, Colombia and Mexico (and we have seen a similar phenomenon in Honduras after the U.S.-supported and probably Bush Junta-designed rightwing military coup--murderous attacks on dissenters, leftists, union leaders, peasant farmers; more U.S. military bases going in, more mayhem to come). With the Bush Junta, I believe that treating drug traffickers as "terrorists" with heavy "collateral damage" on civilians was a deliberate U.S. government policy to inflict murder, mayhem and terror on the people in these countries--NOT to stop conflicts, NOT to arrest criminals and reduce crime, NOT to stem the flow of drugs, NOT to alleviate fear and interdict terrorists--but to stoke the mayhem up as much as possible and profit from it.

The Bush Junta operative in Mexico, Felipe Calderon (whom they assisted in stealing the election from a Leftist in 2005), has been unable to privatize Mexico's oil, his main mission, due to huge opposition to it in Mexico. This may be one of the reasons that the Bush Junta inflicted this horror on Mexico as one of its last acts in office--as punishment. Overall, its purpose is to drown Mexican civil society in bloodshed, order to boost the power of fascist forces, to cover up fascist crime (the protected drug/weapons networks) and prepare Mexico for yet more exploitation and repression.

A Bolivian official said something that caught my attention recently. I can't recall if it was Evo Morales (president) or someone else, but he said that Bolivia had never achieved so many arrests of major drug gang figures while the DEA was in Bolivia. Morales threw the DEA (and the U.S. ambassador) out of Bolivia in 2008 for colluding with the white separatists in the eastern provinces who were trying to split Bolivia in two and gain control of the gas resource (Bolivia's main resource). Throwing U.S. coup-makers out of the country not only helped quell the white separatists' insurrection (which included riots and murder) but it also improved Bolivia's record on busting up major crime networks. The implication is that either the DEA was so busy trying to topple Bolivia's democracy that it didn't have time for catching big drug lords, OR, it was protecting big drug lords. Looking at Colombia and Mexico, I'd say the latter: the rightwing political establishment and the criminal establishment were one and the same, or closely tied, and U.S. operatives and resources were being used to empower both. Now that the U.S. "war on drugs" is gone (with the whole continent banding together to back up Morales), not only do the white separatists have no political cache, but also the big drug lords can be caught.

There are a number of other people who should be standing in the dock at the Hague, along with Felipe Calderon. These include Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Uribe. It's not likely to happen, with the Obama administration and Leon Panetta (Bush Sr pal, "old CIA") protecting all four but it should happen, in all justice. Believe me, I don't underestimate the danger of going after them. I feel a sort of pity for the Obamaites whose hands are tied (or who have tied their own hands) because it's simply not possible to hold such people accountable. They are, indeed, above the law. When Obama stated that "we need to look forward not backward" on Bush Junta crimes, he may have been stating not what was right but rather what was possible. He doesn't have the power to go after them! It means that their huge crimes WILL be repeated but it's probably true that our hapless "democracy" cannot prevent it. Obama, sadly, has now committed some war crimes of his own, thus "war criminal" has become something of a definition of the job of President of the United States. I can't tell you how sad this makes me. It is heartbreaking.*

Colombian prosecutors have been trying to get Uribe in the dock for some time. They were subverted by U.S. ambassador to Colombia William Brownfield (Bushwhack appointee, kept in place by Obama through 2010) who colluded with Uribe to extradite death squad witnesses to the U.S., out of the reach of Colombian prosecutors and over their objections. They were also likely subverted by the CIA, when Uribe spy chief Maria Hurtado fled Colombia and obtained instant asylum in the U.S. client state of Panama. She was wanted by Colombian prosecutors to testify against Uribe. Recent testimony in these investigations in Colombia links the U.S. embassy to Uribe's spying network, DAS. Brownfield also secretly negotiated and secretly signed (with Uribe) a U.S./Colombian military agreement that, among other things, provided "total diplomatic immunity" for all U.S. military personnel and all U.S. military 'contractors' in Colombia. This agreement was later declared unconstitutional by the Colombian supreme court, but it nevertheless raises questions about why Brownfield felt that U.S. personnel needed this protection at least a decade into the U.S. military presence in Colombia. Somewhat later (early this year) the U.S. State Department "fined" Blackwater for "unauthorized" "trainings" of "foreign persons" IN COLOMBIA "for use in Iraq and Afghanistan." (I don't believe that these "turkey shoots" were "unauthorized.") Brownfield--sitting on a Pandora's Box of ugly secrets in Colombia--was bumped upstairs by the current administration, and is now Assistant Secretary for Latin America in charge of the corrupt, murderous, failed U.S. "war on drugs" in the region.

Gotta laugh at that, or cry, or both.


---------------------------

*(Note: I have to say that it's VERY HARD to see and to guess at what is really going on in the back rooms of our government and our corporate/war profiteer establishment. There is considerable evidence, for instance, that there was a serious internal war between the Pentagon and the CIA, instigated by Rumsfeld/Cheney, and that Leon Panetta was brought in (by Bush Sr's "Iraq Study Group" of which Panetta was a member) to end this internal war. He started at the CIA and then job-hopped to the Pentagon. This may be why. The internal war came to a head over the nuking of Iran and the outing of CIA agents. A coalition of powers--Bush Sr, military brass and others--ousted Rumsfeld and curtailed Cheney in the last two years of Junior's term, mainly and immediately to stop them from nuking Iran, but long term to put the U.S. government back together as a military/corporate power with a reasonable plan for controlling resources and making the rich richer without armageddon.

(How does Obama fit into this picture? Obama, whom I believe was actually elected, was also--and this is the problem--permitted to be elected, while this consolidation goes on behind the scenes. With a far rightwing-connected corporation--ES&S, which bought out Diebold--now controlling 80% of the 'voting' systems in the U.S., it's quite easy for the far right and allied corporate interests to play our system like a piano. Thus Obama is permitted to win but is heavily fettered with a Scumbag Congress (most of whom were not elected) among other fetters. What I'm getting at, by laying out this scenario (one that I think there is a lot of truth to), is how difficult it is to judge good vs bad in our Byzantine and very secretive establishment. It's certainly good that we and the world were spared armageddon in the Middle East--even if Bush Sr's motives had nothing to do with benefiting us. (He may have just been saving Junior from CIA retribution, or protecting his interests in China--which might well have sided with Iran in an open conflict.) But if this scenario is more or less true, it means that our democracy is over and has been for some time--not just in trouble, not just corrupted, but non-existent. We no longer have ANY control or ANY say in what our government does.

(Similarly, the change that Panetta implemented in Colombia (or vetted and approved)--one of his first acts as CIA Director--of yanking Uribe off the stage in favor of Manuel Santos (who immediately made peace with Venezuela and has done a number of quite leftist things, lately, including supporting an end to the "war on drugs"), may well have been part of a coverup of Bush Junta crimes in Colombia but it ALSO has an upside. Just getting rid of Uribe (amidst rumors of a Uribe coup to stay in power) was a big positive for Colombia and the region. It may have ulterior motives; it may be somewhat cosmetic; and it may have landed Uribe on a silk cushion and free to try to return to power--but his spy agency has been busted (dismantled), prosecutors' and judges' hands have been strengthened (within limits--evidently, they can't go after Uribe). And Santos is at least making noises about social justice, return of peasant lands and, most recently, a peace treaty with the FARC. One can look at this cynically on a number of matters (for instance, cocaine trade consolidated and its revenues now "properly" directed, war profiteer pockets fully padded and the trade union movement decapitated--time to sweep the mountains of dead bodies under the rug; time for the fascists to change their image and start looking like "good guys")...BUT...

(...it IS a good thing, for a lot of people, that Uribe is at least temporarily gone. He can run for president again; I don't think he can win, even with his crime network activated (or even with Jeb Bush in the White House). Great danger still lurks off stage, as here. But both of our countries--the U.S. and Colombia--have had at least temporary reprieve from truly massive evil. Is this Obama's doing? Is this maybe all he can do? Was this his "plan"--to use what little power he has been allowed, to reprieve us all from massive evil, working quietly behind the scenes with people we wouldn't want at our dinner table? It could be that the Honduran coup is another example of him not being able to do much (sprung on him by outgoing Bushwhacks, only six months into his term) except to lean on the fascists to minimize the carnage (not nearly as bad as Colombia) and hope that the phony election that the U.S. staged in Honduras might lead to real elections and even some limited reform.

(But for the drone bombings of Libya and other places, on-going civilian deaths by U.S. forces and U.S. executions without trial (in Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uganda and Lord knows where else), I would favor this assessment of Obama, but those actions weigh heavily against him and too much is unknown for me to say for sure what I think of him. Is he making all these bad decision? Does he really have a choice? I don't know. How does he fit into the fascist, corporate-run, militaristic U.S. that Bush Sr, Panetta & brethren acted to preserve? I don't know.)
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