Due to the hot weather and the U.S. Presidential elections which have stymied me, it is always a relief to have the local news sources total up the fatalities from the drug war, I don't have to sit here and list all of them individually. But the difference between this years reports and last years reports is that no one is screaming about the percentage increase in the violence and the fact that we have surpassed the high record numbers of killings from 2010, or even compared the current figures to any totals from previous years.
This morning, Zeta reported from the beginning of the year to today 08/12/16 there have been 508 murders/executions in Tijuana. El Mexicano is one shy noting their figures are from the Subprocurador de Investigaciones Especiales del PGJE, who are putting the numbers of Tijuana at 507 dead, and for the entire Baja California 610 dead from the beginning of the year to this point. At this moment, SSPE has not listed the figures to include the month of July.
But lets do a blast from the past and look at last years (2015) coverage; note the figures I quoted last year from El Mexicano. The current SSPE reported murders/executions numbers have changed, their homicide numbers have decreased. I remember distinctly double checking El Mexicano's numbers, sitting down here with a calculator comparing them to the SSPE's numbers, adding them up and they were a perfect match. Now, we have new numbers for the past years violent homicides-executions from the authorities. Still, even with the reduced numbers available from the authorities, 2016 beats 2010. And no one is addressing this fact.
Here is a last years (10/2015) report from Frontera who state they obtained their figures from the SSPE; these figures are close by a hair to the 2015 report from El Mexicano (above) and yet you can see now the SSPE figures have been changed, and the homicide numbers have decreased. You know the drill, scroll down and click "Incidencia Delictiva" then down again and click "Estadistica Estatal y Municipal."
I guess we're not supposed to worry about this, right ?
Lots of links to the current political events in the United States, if you are Spanish speaking, you can read the interview transcripts by clicking their translation button at the top of the page. Don't miss the comments at truthdig, here are some of my favs:
1. Democracy Now !
Interview & video with Scott Anderson of the New York Times, author of :
"Fractured Lands: How The Arab World Came Apart": NYT Mag Examines Region since 2003 U.S. Invasion
Link to the entire article.
2. Democracy Now !
Interview & video with Scott Anderson of the New York Times:
Donald Trump Claims Obama & Clinton Founded ISIS, But Bush Negotiated US Withdrawal from
3. Democracy Now !
Interview and video with James Grimaldi of the Wall St. Journal:
Did Companies & Countries Buy State Dept.Access by donating to Clinton Foundation
4. Hillary & Negroponte: More Hawks
In a statement provided by the Clinton campaign, Negroponte touted the former secretary of state's "leadership qualities" in his decision. "She will bring to the Presidency the skill, experience and wisdom that is needed in a President and Commander in Chief," he said. "Having myself served in numerous diplomatic and national security positions starting in 1960, I am convinced that Secretary Clinton has the leadership qualities that far and away qualify her best to be our next President."
Given the human rights records of the Honduran military and the Nicaraguan contras who set up shop in Honduras during Negroponte's tenure as ambassador in the early '80s, he will have no moral standing as a public official who repudiates abusive interrogation techniques and brutal counterinsurgency tactics. Indeed, some cynics might suggest that's one of the reasons Bush picked him. Negroponte's work in Honduras means, too, that he will come to his new job with a history of forwarding inaccurate intelligence to Washington and leaving out information that would have upset the upper echelon of the Reagan-Bush administration. For his part, Negroponte, who is now 65, has staunchly denied knowledge of "death squad" operations by the Honduran military in the '80s.
In 1983, in another move that helped the Honduran military and the contras, the Reagan-Bush administration closed down the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) office at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, just as Honduras was emerging as an important base for cocaine transshipments to the United States. "Elements of the Honduran military were involved … in the protection of drug traffickers from 1980 on," is how a Senate Foreign Relations investigative report, issued in 1989 by a subcommittee headed by Sen. John Kerry, put it. "These activities were reported to appropriate U.S. government officials throughout the period. Instead of moving decisively to close down the drug trafficking by stepping up the DEA presence in the country and using the foreign assistance the United States was extending to the Hondurans as a lever, the United States closed the DEA office in Tegucigalpa and appears to have ignored the issue." It's unclear what role Negroponte played in shutting down the DEA office in Honduras during his time as U.S. ambassador, but it is hard to imagine that a step of that significance could have occurred without at least his acquiescence.
In a Senate floor speech before Negroponte won confirmation, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) said, "The picture that emerges in analyzing this new information is a troubling one." Summarizing the new documents from the State Department and CIA, Dodd said the evidence pointed to the fact that from 1980 to 1984, the Honduran military committed most of the country's hundreds of human rights abuses. The documents reported that some Honduran military units, trained by the United States, were implicated in "death squad" operations that employed counterterrorist tactics, including torture, rape, and assassinations against people suspected of supporting leftist guerrillas in El Salvador or leftist movements in Honduras. Dodd criticized Negroponte's earlier Senate testimony. In response to questions about one of these units, Battalion 316, Negroponte had said, "I have never seen any convincing substantiation that they were involved in death squad-type activities."
"Given what we know about the extent and nature of Honduran human rights abuses, to say that Mr. Negroponte was less than forthcoming in his responses to my questions is being generous," said Dodd. "I was also troubled by Ambassador Negroponte's unwillingness to admit that—as a consequence of other U.S. policy priorities—the U.S. Embassy, by acts of omissions, end[ed] up shading the truth about the extent and nature of ongoing human rights abuses in the 1980s. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights had no such reluctance in assigning blame to the Honduran government during its adjudication of a case brought against the government of Honduras [in 1987]," Dodd said.