Vicente Fox: Drug War Has Never Worked Anywhere in the World

By: PanAm Post Staff - Sep 23, 2014, 3:28 pm

Español“The drug war has never worked anywhere in the world; it’s a lost war,” said former Mexican President Vicente Fox on Monday. He further described the process of marijuana legalization around the world as “irreversible.”

Vicente Fox criticized his successor, Felipe Calderón, and his management of the drug war in Mexico.
Vicente Fox criticized his successor, Felipe Calderón, and his management of the drug war in Mexico. (Flickr)

“I’m against those who put up walls that obstruct freedom and impose moral and ethical behavior,” said Fox during a meeting with foreign correspondents in Mexico City. During the meeting, Fox insisted that it is now necessary to swap “prohibition for regulation.”

Fox also singled out his successor, former President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), for his responsibility in the enforcement of the Mérida Initiative, a partnership between the governments of the United States and Mexico to fight drug trafficking.

“It was a mistake to put the army [on the streets]; it was a flagrant violation of human rights. The army was not created to uphold human rights. Sending in the military stirred up the hornet’s nest, but it didn’t work. It did not stop the cartels, nor the flow of drugs,” said Fox.

Between 2006 and 2014, more than 70,000 people have been killed as a result of the drug war in Mexico.

“What good was this war? It tripled the number of homicides compared to my administration. You can not live by a single dogma. The big change with [current President] Peña Nieto was the move to abandon single-issue politics. He doesn’t talk about cartels or narcos, but other issues that matter,” said the former president.

Fox believes that marijuana legalization is moving very quickly, and notes the policy shift in the United States, where more than 20 states have now authorized the use of medical marijuana. He says a referendum in Jalisco, Mexico that aims to legalize medical marijuana could pave the way for broader legalization in places like Mexico City.

Should Californians decide to put marijuana legalization to a vote once again, the former Mexican president says he would encourage the Mexican community in the state to support the effort.

Sources: El País, Infolatam.

Panamanian Deputy: Those Foreign Flags Will Not Stand

By: PanAm Post Staff - Sep 23, 2014, 2:57 pm

EspañolOn September 17, Panamanian Deputy Javier Ortega of the Democratic Revolutionary Party introduced a bill that seeks to ban public and private displays of foreign flags in the country. "We are aware of the great number of foreign nationals residing in our country, however, it does not seem right to have such an open and permanent display of another country's colors in our streets and avenues, as well as in private homes, buildings, and structures of all kinds," Ortega wrote in the bill. "We can humbly say that we have left our country to visit other cities [around the world] and never found the Panamanian flag flying freely in any street, avenue, house, restaurant, or business there, and you know that Panamanians are everywhere," he continued. The bill, if signed into law, would exempt embassies, consulates, and other diplomatic buildings, as well as "the occasional foreigner who attends the stadium with a little flag of their country," according to Ortega's bill. Ortega preemptively addresses accusations of xenophobia by saying the issue "has nothing to do with xenophobia or anything of that sort." He says he is proud of the "cultural diversity that blesses [Panama]," but warns the public must "show a little restraint about this, and show respect for all of our diversity as united under a common symbol in the national flag." The draft of the bill, currently being discussed at the Commission of Municipal Affairs chaired by Ortega, does not set fines or assign an enforcement authority to the proposed law, delegating these powers to the local authorities. Source: La Prensa.

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