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Today, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy presented its main findings on the limits and unwanted effects of the 'war on drugs' in Latin America over the past 30 years. The Commission was headed by former Presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso (Brazil), César Gaviria (Colombia), and Ernesto Zedillo (Mexico) and includes 17 independent members. According to today's declaration, the anti-drug strategy pursued in the region over the past 30 years has failed and the...

Increasingly, major U.S. news sources are covering the rapidly spreading violence in Mexico's border towns and throughout the country. Today, it made the front page of the Washington Post after a Mexican general, along with his bodyguard and his driver, was tortured and killed in Cancun last week. He had been there less than one week, recently recruited by Cancun's Mayor to "train...

While last week we speculated about what would happen if the drug cartels in Mexico actually reached a truce, this week's news coverage on Mexico remains grim. According to El Universal, 508 people were killed in drug-related violence in January 2009 alone - more than double the amount of deaths in January 2008. An article in Sunday's Washington Post cites the increasing...

The Los Angeles Times reports this morning that warring drug-trafficking gangs in the northern Mexican state of Sinaloa may have declared a truce in December. The result is a sudden drop in the narco-fueled violence that claimed more than 5,000 lives across Mexico last year.

After a record year of bloodshed, killings have dropped by two-thirds from the December level in the state of Sinaloa, the historic center of Mexican drug trafficking,

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Recently, the growing presence of Russia and Iran in Latin America - especially in left-wing governments such as Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Bolivia - has elicited some concern in the United States. Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates gave his opinion on Russia and Iran's role in Latin America at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on challenges the Defense Department faces. Below are excerpts of Secretary Gates' answer to Senator Mel Martinez's question on the subject from the Voice of America article...

At the end of July 2008, Ecuador formally notified the United States that it will not renew the United States' ten-year agreement to use the Manta air base as a "Forward Operating Location" when it expires in November 2009. The United States has therefore "officially" known of the need to find a new location for the air base for six months and "unofficially" has been aware of its potential closing since Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa's election in 2006. Yet no final decision has been made about where to...

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