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By the way… a few thoughts in passing

27 June 2018

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A lawyer for Joaquin Guzman, the Mexican drug lord known as “El Chapo,” said Tuesday that he believed US prosecutors had evidence that his client was a mere “lieutenant” in Sinaloa Cartel, not a leader as prosecutors claim.

On the one hand, the U.S. (and Mexican, and … well … everyone) has been claiming Chapo is the Lex Luthur of the narcotics export industry, and on the other that he’s just some hillbilly from backwoods Sinaloa. Nothing says that hillbillies can’t be highly intelligent and unusually gifted when it comes to cunning, but c’mon… ever been to rural Sinaloa. There’s no money there, and it’s always been doubtful that anywhere near the supposed billions (trillions?) of dollars in that branch of agrobusiness is coming back to the supposed masterminds. Sure, you see some fancy cars and gold chains, but that’s the standard uniform for gangsters everywhere, whether they have the money or not (and Chapo has never been known as a flashy type… that’d be Donald Trump’s various “business associates” over the years).

Given that a “cartel” is just a price-fixing argreement among competitors in the same line of business (think OPEC) the whole idea of labeling criminal organizations (even when they cooperate) as a “cartel” was always kind of silly…. though not wquite as silly as labeling them “Transnational Criminal Organizations”.

If you’re looking for the “head” of the “cartel”… there isn’t one. That kind of international commerce isn’t run by hillbillies, cunning or not, working with various gangs. It’s run by the same old rich white guys in offices in New York or London or Amsterdam, that have controlled the international agricultural markets for centuries.

A federal judge in Mexico yesterday barred the import of fresh potatoes from the United States on national security and biosecurity grounds.

The decision, made by José Francisco Pérez Mier of the Seventh District Court in Los Mochis, Sinaloa — a potato-producing state, overturned a 2016 decision adopted by the Secretariat of Agriculture (Sagarpa) to allow potato imports from Mexico’s northern neighbor.

The judge said that Sagarpa’s reform to the Federal Law on Plant Health was unconstitutional because it didn’t include measures to protect against the introduction of plant diseases and therefore posed a threat to national sovereignty and security and crops such as chiles, tomatoes, eggplants and tobacco.

The domestic potato industry could disappear if fresh potato imports from the United States continue, Pérez said.

Potato Pro News

This is being presented in most US reports I’ve seen (and in the English language media here) as some kind of retaliation to the Trump Administration’s anti-Latin and anti-Mexican policies. Congrats to Potato Pro News for recognizing that the issues have less to do with a fit of pique, and more to do with public health and food security. The timing is just a coincidence, and potato imports, while hardly the sexiest of issues, has been a back-and-forth legal issue here for at least the last 15 years.

En Cancún, Quintana Roo, ocurre la “desintegración de las familias porque los padres trabajan en la industria turística con horarios complicados”, señaló el director del Consejo de Promoción Turística estatal, Darío Flota.

Dario Flota, Director of the State Tourism Promotional Council, said in Cancun (more or less) that family disintergration is a result of the work schedules for tourism industry employees

La Jornada

Backed up by United Nations data, Flota is referring to the growing phenomenon of “latchkey kids”… unsupervised children, left to their own devises because their parents are at work. Unlike in the US… where crocodile tears over children “abandoned” by their parents to seek refuge in that country… When a tourism official is calling for changes in how tourism industry operators (hotels, restaurants, clubs, etc.) schedule work so that parents can have sufficient time to spend with their children, it shows the genuine importance Latin culture places on family, and calls into question the assumption that parents have just sent off their children to seek refuge in the United States for mere financial reasons.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 27 June 2018 7:25 pm

    You go, Richard! Estoy completemente de acuerdo.

  2. Peter.Melvoin permalink
    28 June 2018 12:46 am

    Good one!

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