07-06-2020  7:44 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Black Community Frustrated as Violence Mars Protests

Black leaders condemn violence from small group of mostly-white activists as Rose City Justice suspends nightly marches

Protester Dies After Car Hits Two on Closed Freeway

Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died and Taylor and Diaz Love of Portland were injured. The driver, Dawit Kelete has been arrested

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

Inslee Heckled Off Stage During Tri-Cities Appearance

Speaking outdoors in Eastern Washington, the governor was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Highlights First Report on Oregon’s New Hate and Bias Crimes Laws

In 2019, the Oregon legislature passed Senate Bill 577, which updated Oregon’s hate and bias crimes law for the first time in over...

Trump Blows His Twitter Dog Whistle on America’s Fair Housing Policies in the Suburbs

The president could be Tweeting on unemployment or COVID-19 infections but instead pushes housing discrimination ...

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Awards Historic $100,000 Founders' Centennial Scholarship

Zeta celebrates 100 years with largest single recipient scholarship awarded by a historically Black Greek-lettered sorority or...

Nominations Being Accepted for the Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award

Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1994 to honor Multnomah County residents who have contributed outstanding...

Shatter, LLC Launches to Elevate Diverse Voices in Progressive Politics

A collaboration of leading female political strategists aims to fill a void in the world of political consulting ...

jumi.2 million bail for driver that hit 2 Seattle protesters

SEATTLE (AP) — A judge on Monday set a jumi.2 million bail for the man accused of driving a Jaguar on to a closed Seattle freeway and hitting two protesters, killing one and seriously injuring the other.Dawit Kelete, who is black, drove the car around vehicles that were parked on Interstate 5...

Sheriff: At least 8 killed in plane collision at Idaho lake

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — At least eight people, including three children, were killed when two airplanes collided over a scenic mountain lake in northern Idaho, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.One of the aircraft was a float plane operated by Brooks Seaplane of Coeur...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Letter to the Community From Eckhart Tolle Foundation

The Eckhart Tolle Foundation is donating more than 250,000 dollars to organizations that are fighting racism ...

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

Banana Republic or Constitutional Democracy? The US Military May Decide

Will the military, when and if the chips are down, acts in accord with the Constitution and not out of loyalty to its commander-in-chief? ...

To Save Black Lives, and the Soul of Our Nation, Congress Must Act Boldly

For too long, Black people in America have been burdened with the unjust responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from police. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Betts: Baseball didn't do good job with response to Floyd

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mookie Betts wasn’t moved by Major League Baseball’s response in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody, and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ newest star has a goal of getting the Black community to love baseball as much as he does.MLB...

White woman charged after racist Central Park confrontation

NEW YORK (AP) — A white woman who called the police during a videotaped dispute with a Black man over her walking her dog without a leash in Central Park was charged Monday with filing a false police report.In May, Amy Cooper drew widespread condemnation and was fired from her job after...

'Senseless crime': The victims of July Fourth shootings

A 6-year-old computer whiz. A young mother working for a better home for her kids. An 8-year-old who loved to make dance videos. From San Francisco to South Carolina, a spate of shootings claimed the lives of people celebrating or just taking a drive over the Fourth of July weekend. Chicago saw one...

ENTERTAINMENT

Reps: Singers Kacey Musgraves, Ruston Kelly file for divorce

NEW YORK (AP) — Grammy-winning singer Kacey Musgraves and her musician-husband, Ruston Kelly, have filed for divorce.Representatives for both singers confirmed the news Friday to The Associated Press. In a joint statement, Musgraves and Kelly said “we’ve made this painful...

Executive turmoil at Essence, Ebony magazines prompt changes

NEW YORK (AP) — Two storied magazines that focus on news and culture in the Black community, Essence and Ebony, are in the midst of turmoil at their top levels.Ebony late last week forced out CEO Willard Jackson following an initial inquiry into some of his financial transactions. The...

Country rocker and fiddler Charlie Daniels dies at age 83

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Charlie Daniels, who went from being an in-demand session musician to a staple of Southern rock with his hit “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” has died at 83.A statement from his publicist said the Country Music Hall of Famer died Monday at a hospital in...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

NHL, players' union announce plan to resume play on Aug. 1

The NHL is not only in a position to resume playing within the next month, the league has the potential of...

Army identifies buried remains as missing Texas soldier

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — An Army commander confirmed Monday that dismembered remains found last week buried...

White woman charged after racist Central Park confrontation

NEW YORK (AP) — A white woman who called the police during a videotaped dispute with a Black man over her...

Spaghetti Western movie composer Ennio Morricone dead at 91

ROME (AP) — Ennio Morricone, the Oscar-winning Italian composer who created the coyote-howl theme for the...

American student released after 486 days in Egyptian prison

CAIRO (AP) — An American medical student detained without trial in an Egyptian prison for nearly 500 days...

Africa starts opening airspace even as COVID-19 cases climb

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — As COVID-19 cases surged in many parts of the world, the island nation of the...

McMenamins
Louis Nevaernew America Media

MEXICO CITY – Mexicans have long grown weary of their country's prolonged War on Drugs. Now, with President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto set to take office in December, it appears change may finally be in the offing.

That change, however, may not be what most Mexicans were expecting.

"A transnational phenomenon requires a transnational strategy," Óscar Naranjo, Colombia's former director of the National Police and current advisor to Peña Nieto, told reporters last week.  "No country can succeed in an insular and isolated manner if it is to achieve timely or definitive victories."

Far from "re-envisioning" the approach taken by outgoing President Felipe Calderon, credited with having launched the crackdown on the country's drug cartels in 2006, Peña Nieto is preparing the Mexican people for a major escalation. It is a shift that could draw in military forces from Mexico's neighbors, including the United States.

Mexico has not had foreign troops on its soil since the U.S. invaded in 1847. The country's constitution bans foreign troops from its territory. But Mexican officials have been quietly developing strategies for circumventing these prohibitions. 

High-ranking advisors suggest one strategy would be to develop a "multinational" military force comprised of American, Colombian and Chilean military advisors to work with Mexican marines and special forces under an international mandate.

"Not only the United States, but the world, must ally with Mexico to help Mexico overcome the challenge of transnational crime," Naranjo continued. 

Still, he insisted, the final "solution to the Mexican problem remains in the hands of Mexicans." It is an assertion that ignores one crucial fact: the War on Drugs has never been in the hands of the Mexicans. During the recent presidential campaign, none of the candidates were willing to touch the issue.

Josefina Vazquez, candidate from Calderón's National Action party (PAN), made no mention of it, presumably because she did not want to remind voters that it was her party that first launched the campaign. Peña Nieto steered clear knowing that governors from his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) stood accused of collaborating with drug traffickers, or being corrupted by them. The leftist candidate, Andrés López Obrador of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), avoided discussing the War on Drugs simply because he had no new ideas to offer.

Their collective reluctance to broach the subject was cause for much discussionthroughout the Spanish-speaking world.

But now that Peña Nieto is well on his way to the presidential palace, he is beginning to reveal his strategy.

For several years Mexico has availed itself of the United States for assistance, including the sending of Mexican marines to the U.S. for Pentagon training in counter-intelligence and special forces military strikes. 

"We have learned from American officers who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan," a Mexican marine corporal, who asked that his name not be used as he is not authorized to speak to the media, told American reportersin October 2011. "The Americans suffer from similar types of ambushes in their wars, and have learned how to respond to them in a tight, disciplined way. We apply those techniques to our fight here."

The training of Mexican marines for Iraq- and Afghanistan-style warfare by the Pentagon is only part of the "transnational" approach pursued by Calderón.  Mexico has received intelligence from the U.S. military as well.

"A sea change has occurred over the past years in how effective Mexico and U.S. intelligence exchanges have become," Arturo Sarukhán, Mexico's ambassador to the United States, confirmed to the New York Timesa year ago. "It is underpinned by the understanding that transnational organized crime can only be successfully confronted by working hand in hand, and that the outcome is as simple as it is compelling: we will together succeed or together fail."

This gradual escalation is set to accelerate once Peña Nieto takes office, with speculation that Mexico might make an appeal to the Organization of American States (OAS) or the United Nations for "help" in preventing the emergence of a "narco-state." 

Under this scenario, Latin American countries and the United States would come to the "assistance" of Mexico with the authorization of an OAS declaration or a United Nations resolution affirming the legitimate need for assistance by the Mexican government.

Such help has already come, albeit in clandestine fashion, from the United States. Last year it was revealedthat American drones authorized by the Obama administration had violated Mexican airspace. "Stepping up its involvement in Mexico's drug war, the Obama administration has begun sending drones deep into Mexican territory to gather intelligence," the New York Times reported.

For the White House, it was an embarrassing revelation. But what was "embarrassing" in 2011 may now be part of Peña Nieto's new strategy, one well timed with events north of the border.

As American involvement in Iraq winds down and U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan are scaled back, the additional personnel may allow U.S. military officials to contemplate "limited" and "strategic" operations to assist in a "multinational" effort for other missions in Latin America. 

This "transnational" nature of the War on Drugs that Mexican officials are now openly discussing is part of a national conversation swirling through the Mexican capital, anticipating how such an approach might succeed where the current Mexico-alone strategy has failed. 

For Peña Nieto, it is clear that had he openly debated this course of action, the presidential election might have turned out differently.

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