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Andrew Stigaard
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The news coverage by the LA Times of Mexico is the best in the United States by a major newspaper. Mexico is one-third the size of the U.S. in territory and population. Much of the news coverage in the U.S. is biased and exploitative with a political agenda. The Mexican people by in large adore America. They have an idealized image of life in the United States. Many Mexicans have family members living in America and many Mexicans have previously lived in the U.S. American citizens are seldom victims of the war on drugs in Mexico. The cartels do not target Americans.
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Assuming that at least a good percentage of these inmates deserved to be in prison, which may be a false assumption, the chances are they were given sentences much too long. This is a problem for the state judiciary and legislature to resolve. We now need to get rid of forty percent of the state's correctional officers. The Supreme Court did us a favor.
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Hillary's State Department has broadened its travel warning for Mexico, advising citizens to avoid certain areas and don't drive at night. This new alert, urges US citizens to defer nonessential travel in regions where drug-related violence has surged, including the border state of Tamaulipas and the central state of Michoacan + nonessential travel in parts of eight other states. This is a slap in the face to Mexico and extremely rude - and will cost Mexico a billion or more in tourist revenue. There is some very bad blood going on between Mexico City and Washington. What Washington gives with one hand - they take away with the other. This is Obama Administration diplomacy. It is a disgrace. It may be true that Tamaulipas is somewhat up for grabs at this very moment. This is why they call it the WAR on drugs. However, the state of Michoacan is the safest state in Mexico. It is under martial law and there are police and army everywhere, with drones patrolling the skies.
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This reminds me of Marlon Brando's old movie "The Ugly American" released back in the 1960s about an American ambassador. The title says it all. American arrogance, especially about the Nixonian war on drugs being waged in Mexico, can raise diplomatic hackles and incense nationalistic sensitivities in Mexico City. The attitude is: you should be more grateful for the hundreds of millions of yankee dollars we've poured into your military and federal police... and you don't always follow our orders. Get on the ball, Mexico. Shape up.
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Oct 29, 2010