12-06-2019  2:53 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.

NEWS BRIEFS

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Artist Talk with 13-year-old Local to be Held This Tuesday, Nov. 26

Hobbs Waters will be discussing his solo exhibit “Thirteen” at The Armory in Portland ...

Man who 'freaked out’ on plane, forced landing pleads guilty

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Washington man who ingested methamphetamine before getting on a plane in Seattle and had what a prosecutor called a "freak out'' on board pleaded guilty Thursday to interfering with crew members after the California-bound flight was forced to land in Portland.The...

Owners of Thai restaurant chain get prison for tax fraud

SEATTLE (AP) — A couple that used software to hide more than jumi million in revenue at the Thai restaurant chain they owned have each been sentenced to several months in prison and ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines.The U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle said Thursday that Chadillada...

Missouri fires football coach Barry Odom after 4 seasons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri fired football coach Barry Odom on Saturday, ending the four-year stay of a respected former player who took over a program in disarray but could never get the Tigers over the hump in the brutal SEC.The Tigers finished 6-6 and 3-5 in the conference after...

Powell, Missouri snap 5-game skid with win over Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — In a game started by third- and fifth-string quarterbacks, the outcome was decided by one of their backups. It was appropriate enough for Arkansas and Missouri, two teams facing their longest losing streaks in decades.Fayetteville High School graduate Taylor Powell...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Kansas judge accused of bigotry, profanities in courthouse

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A foul-mouthed Kansas judge accused of bigotry and racism who cursed at courthouse employees so often that a trial clerk kept a “swear journal” documenting his obscene outbursts is facing complaints that his conduct violates the central judicial canons of...

Buttigieg backs black leaders after Indiana event disrupted

HENNIKER, N.H. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is applauding African American leaders in his home city for “speaking their truth” after a protester disrupted an event held to demonstrate black support for the mayor in South Bend, Indiana.African American...

Panel calls for Virginia to purge dozens of old racist laws

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The laws are still on the books in Virginia: Blacks and whites must sit in separate rail cars. They cannot use the same playgrounds, schools or mental hospitals. They can’t marry each other either.The measures have not been enforced for decades, but they remain in...

ENTERTAINMENT

Timberlake apologizes to wife for ‘strong lapse in judgment’

NEW YORK (AP) — Justin Timberlake has publicly apologized to his actress-wife Jessica Biel days after he was seen holding hands with the co-star of his upcoming movie.The pop star and actor wrote Wednesday on Instagram that he prefers to “stay away from gossip as much as I can, but...

Veteran producer of 'WarGames,' 'Blue Bloods," dies at 85

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Leonard Goldberg, a network and studio executive and producer whose TV credits ranged from “Starsky and Hutch” in the 1970s to the current drama series “Blue Bloods” and whose independent movies included “WarGames” and...

'Once Upon a Time,' 'Portrait' top AP's 2019 best films list

Associated Press Film Writers Lindsey Bahr and Jake Coyle name their choices for the best films of 2019.LINDSEY BAHR1. “Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood": Quentin Tarantino’s movie business fairy tale, featuring all-time performances from two of our great living movie stars, and the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Pearl Harbor vet’s interment to be last on sunken Arizona

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — On Dec. 7, 1941, then-21-year-old Lauren Bruner was the second-to-last man to...

Chase with stolen UPS truck ends with shootout, 4 dead

MIRAMAR, Fla. (AP) — Four people, including a UPS driver, were killed Thursday after robbers stole the...

A locker, a chirp: How tiny clues help solve child sex cases

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — It was the odd-looking locker handles that caught their eye.Investigators spent hours...

Nobel body: ‘Highly problematic’ that peace winner silent

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute has called it “highly...

As 58 migrants drown off Africa, a call to stop smugglers

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (AP) — The drowning of at least 58 migrants in the Atlantic Ocean off Mauritania...

Injured journalist seeks answers from Hong Kong police

HONG KONG (AP) — More than two months after being blinded in one eye by what she believes was a projectile...

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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