Ibero-American News Digest
Mexico: Former Presidential Spokesman Demands Soros's Drug Legalization
Dec. 22 (EIRNS)Proving exactly the point about Mexico made by Gen. Barry McCaffrey (see U.S.A. Digest), Ruben Aguilar, who served as press spokesman for former President Vicente Fox, has called on President Felipe Calderón to stop trying to defeat the drug cartels militarily, and negotiate with them instead to legalize the drug trade.
In an interview with Frontera de Tijuana, published Dec. 18, Aguilar, who was trained by the Jesuits for 14 years preparing for the priesthood, stated that "wars aren't won; they are negotiated." What Calderón should do, he said, is make unofficial deals with the drug lords to attain a "peace" based on respecting their routes, markets, the areas through which trafficking occurs, and their zones of influence, including border crossings into the United States.
A day later, Calderón angrily responded to Aguilar. Without naming him or Fox, he stated, "My government doesn't negotiate, nor will it ever negotiate, with criminal organizations." Adding that he will deploy the full force of the State against "the enemies of Mexico," Calderón made a thinly disguised reference to Fox, saying that Mexico today is paying the price for the inaction of previous governments, whose policy was to "manage" the drug problem, rather than fight it.
Fox has publicly called for drug decriminalization, as has Calderón, although the latter's recent statements reflect a much tougher stance. Aguilar's pedigree is typical of those self-proclaimed "revolutionaries" around Ibero-Americahit men actuallywho are jumping into bed with George Soros and the drug cartels under the guise of promoting a more "humane" policy.
In the early 1980s, when several Central American nations were convulsed by civil war, Aguilar, a Mexican national and sociologist by training, joined the most radical wing of El Salvador's Farabundo Martí Liberation Front (FMLN), serving as its press spokesman at one point.
Responding to Aguilar's statements, Congressman Jorge Manuel del Río Virgen, Secretary of the Chamber of Deputies' executive committee, called on the Attorney General to immediately begin an investigation of both Fox and Aguilar, to determine whether they made deals or negotiated with Mexico's drug cartels. Were this the case, he said, "more than a form of governing, this is a crime."
Soros's Wall Street Allies Urge Pact with Cartels, Too
Dec. 29 (EIRNS)A part of the U.S. financial and banking establishment, represented by Wall Street's Americas Society (AS) and the Council of the Americas (COA)both founded by David Rockefelleris flaunting its alliance with Nazi George Soros, in promoting the British Empire's drive for drug legalization in Ibero-America. It is meant as a clear message for the Obama Administration.
The website of these two entities, whose members include the top U.S. corporations doing business in Ibero-America, prominently posted a Dec. 19 article entitled "Drug Cartels Move Beyond Borders." Under the guise of discussing the spread of Mexico's drug cartels into Central and South America, the article delivers the unmistakable message: The war on drugs is unwinnable, and the only viable "solutions" are decriminalization and legalization.
After citing the 2009 National Threat Assessment that Mexico's drug cartels pose "the greatest organized crime threat to the United States," what does the article propose as a remedy? The same thing that former Mexican President Vicente Fox's spokesman Ruben Aguilar just proposednegotiating a deal with the drug cartels. It quotes one Jason Lakin, a blogger for the Harvard International Review and a Harvard PhD candidate, who is campaigning for making peace with the cartels. It may sound "awful," Lakin says, but let's face it: conflict around the world with despicable and violent organizations is "driven by how accommodating societies are of illegal activity at different points in time." So, he concludes, clearly the cartels will cease their violence, if society will strike a deal with them!
The Rockefeller crew also cites OpenDemocracy.net, a British not-for-profit "charity," which claims that the sentiment in Ibero-America as a whole now favoring legalization is now "overwhelming," means it is a "perfect time to give it a try."
Mexico's CNC Calls for Impeaching Agriculture Secretary
Dec. 26 (EIRNS)In the midst of a devastating crisis for Mexican agriculture, the head of the National Peasant Federation (CNC), Cruz López Aguilar, has called on the National Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against Agriculture Secretary Alberto Cárdenas, for willfully neglecting the needs of particularly small farmers and peasants, and using his position instead to advance his own "ultra-right" Presidential aspirations.
The crisis of Mexican agriculture is dire, López Aguilar warned on Dec. 21. In 2008, fully 350,000 small farmers and peasants were forced off the land, because they lacked the resources to produce food. That meant that 23 billion fewer tons of food were produced, and Mexico had to import 50 billion tons to compensate for that deficit. In 2009, he added, it will be worse. At least 500,000 small farmers will abandon agriculture. Add to this many tens of thousands more peasants returning to Mexico from the United States, where they have lost their jobs, and the result will be "social conflict" and chaos.
How has Cárdenas approached this crisis? The CNC charged that the Agriculture Secretary is an "authoritarian" in outlook and announced that it is breaking off all relations with him and his office. Instead, the CNC demands that President Felipe Calderón be its only interlocutor from now on, as Cárdenas "has acted against the interests and rights of the national peasantry," seeking only to become the Presidential candidate of Mexico's "ultra-right."
Cárdenas is a key player in a reactivated Synarchist movement in Mexico, taking shape through a splitoff from the National Action Party (PAN). While he remains in the PAN, for now, Cárdenas shares the radical-fascist outlook of this new grouping with one of his longtime allies, José Luis Luege Tamargo, the head of the national water agency, Conagua; Luege is affiliated with Prince Philip's World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Like Luege, Cárdenas opposes the Northwest Hydraulic Plan (PLHINO), the great infrastructure project that Lyndon LaRouche has long advocated, and which, if built, could bring water to Mexico's arid northwest, and greatly expand agricultural production.
During an early-December trip to Sonora, Cárdenas publicly asserted that the PLHINO was "too costly" to be built. He was immediately denounced by the Pro-PLHINO Committee of the 21st Century, which warned in a press release that the Agriculture Secretary's policies would condemn millions of Mexicans to death by starvation, and documented his ties to the WWF's man, Luege Tamargo.
Ibero-America's Physical Economy Breaking Down
Dec. 31 (EIRNS)The crash of the global economy is reflected in Ibero-America in sharp declines in the steel and related industries in the region's three largest economies: Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.
* Mexico: According to Worldsteel, Mexican steel production dropped by 25.2% in November. Purchasing.com reports that U.S. and Canadian buyers may soon be able to buy Mexican steel at bargain-basement prices, given that demand is dropping and, therefore, prices also. Mexican production of trucks, cars, ovens, refrigerators, etc. "has plummeted." The drop in domestic demand has also caused contraction in industrial production. A J.P. Morgan Securities analyst notes that service centers have had to cut inventories and sharply reduce orders from mills; in turn, steel mills, have begun price cuts, driving hot-rolled steel prices to $700-750 per ton in local markets, which is $100 under the U.S. baseline price.
The Mexican steel supply expanded by 5.7% in 2008, but demand fell by 4.6% Existing steel mills are now preparing to switch export emphasis from South American customers to NAFTA trade partners, the U.S. and Canada.
* Brazil: The volume of steel exports dropped by 10.5% between January and November, to 7.9 million tons, due to declining production. The Brazilian firm Gerdau, the world's second-largest producer of long steel, estimates that the last three months of 2008 will show a 25% drop in production. The National Steel Company (CSN) plant at Volta Redonda in Rio de Janeiro, had fired 400 workers as of mid-December, and after the union refused to accept wage and benefit cuts, CSN announced it would fire 3,000 more, 1,200 in December and 1,800 in January.
Vale do Rio Doce, the world's largest producer of iron ore, has seven units that produce iron ore pellets, but only one is in operation.
* Argentina: Steel production dropped by 25% in November, compared to November 2007. Iron production fell by the same amount.
* Mexico: Sales of auto parts and cars will have dropped by 5% and 7%, respectively, in 2008. Of 470,000 workers in the auto parts sector, 10,000 will have been laid off in 2008, 1,500 of whom worked for factories that have closed. The Mexican Association of Auto Distributors reports that ten auto dealerships will have closed in 2008, and 40 more are expected to close in 2009. In November, sales of new cars dropped by 19.6%. Auto producers are negotiating with the government for $3 billion in assistance to promote sales. Several GM and Ford plants have shut down operations for at least a month.
* Argentina: Auto production dropped 24% in November, and producers are trying to get unions to accept a six-month wage freeze. Forced "vacations," plant shutdowns, and layoffs of personnel have begun.