North America
Don’t Celebrate Mexico’s Independence…Yet

Don’t Celebrate Mexico’s Independence…Yet

Contrary to common belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s national holiday. That date is September 16, which this year marks the bicentennial of the independence of Mexico. In 1810 Mexico started its independence struggle against Spain, its formal colonial ruler. One hundred years after that, in 1910, Mexico rose up to free itself from three decades of dictatorship under Porfirio Díaz and leave behind the unjust redistribution of wealth, the concentration of large extensions of land (latifundios) in a few hands, the exploitation of workers by capitalist industrialists, corruption, the denial of democracy in elections, and other historic problems.

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60-Second Expert: Plan Colombia in Mexico?

In response to a recent question about the American government’s actions (or lack thereof) regarding drug-related violence in Mexico, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered the administration’s boldest statement yet on the question of military intervention. Mexico, she said, “is looking more and more like Colombia looked 20 years ago.” Likening Mexican drug violence to a FARC-like “insurgency,” she declared that, “[I]t’s going to take a combination of improved institutional capacity and better law enforcement and, where appropriate, military support for that law enforcement…to prevent this from spreading and beat it back.” Clinton maintained that Plan Colombia “worked” and added, “We need to figure out what are the equivalents for Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.”

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Pollution Knows No Borders

The three member countries of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) of North America, a body created as part of NAFTA’s environmental side agreement, are facing high rates of emissions of mercury, arsenic, and chromium, according to Orlando Cabrera, the manager of the Air Quality Program and of the Pollutant Release and Transfer Registry (PRTR) of North America.

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The US-Japan ‘Alliance’, Okinawa, and Three Looming Elections

World attention through the early months of 2010 focused on the tiny hamlet of Henoko in Northern Okinawa as Prime Minister Hatoyama struggled to find a way to meet his (and the Democratic Party of Japan’s) electoral commitment to see that no substitute for the existing Futenma Marine Air Station be constructed in Okinawa. Confronted by adamantine pressures from the US government, and surrounded by uncooperative (some would say even traitorous) bureaucrats who insisted there was no other way but to submit to the US-Japan agreement to construct a new base negotiated by the former LDP government.

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