Latin America: Mexico's PRD May Call for Legalization

According to Mexican press reports this week, Mexico's Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD -- Democratic Revolution Party) is preparing to consider legalization of the drug trade as a response to the wave of narco-violence that has swept the country in the last year and a half. Around 5,000 people have been killed in prohibition-related violence since President Felipe Calderón escalated Mexico's long-running drug war by enlisting the military in the fight in December 2006.

PRD presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador came within a handful of votes of winning the presidency in 2006, and the party remains the second strongest political force in the country, behind the ruling Partido Acción Nacional (PAN -- National Action Party). But because of party infighting since that election, the PRD may drop into third place after this year's midterm elections, behind both the PAN and the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI -- Revolutionary Institutional Party).

According to the Mexico City newspaper El Universal, the PRD's national council is calling on the party's legislators to begin discussing legalization as part of a "grand national accord" to deal with violence and insecurity in the country. The proposal came from the PRD's New Left faction, led by Jesús Zambrano, and was approved unanimously by the national council.

In an interview with Mexico's Televisa TV network, the PRD coordinator in the lower house, Javier González Garza, upped the ante, saying legalization should be considered not only in Mexico, but also in the US. "We can't continue thinking that we are going to combat the problem of drug trafficking without more radical measures, and one of them has to be the legalization of drugs in the United States," he said. "After the United States will we continue with Mexico? Of course, or both at the same time... This war, the way it is outlined, is going to be lost, we're all going to lose, it makes no sense and there need to be some changes."

Some 25,000 Mexican army troops are fighting drug traffickers along the border and in a number of major cities and drug-growing areas. Many observers blame the spike in violence -- more people have been killed already this year than in all of last year -- on the aggressive stance of the Calderón government. But the US government is pleased; it recently passed a $1.4 billion, three-year anti-drug assistance package for Mexico, most of which will go to beefing up military and police capabilities.

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Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

The violence needs to stop!

This is a good move.

Norman Lepoff, M.D. retired

Doesn't seem to be working.

Are we hearing some common sense? OMG, there may be some left. Of course folks like our esteemed President, "bush", will never listen. He has proven time and again that facts and proof are of no "matter" to he and his henchmen.
As my dear departed mother said upon hearing "tricky dick", that dumb SOB, "prohibition didn't work the first time, and it won't work now". She was so right.

Legal Marijuana

Mexico, You do not have to listen to Bush or his lies, the only difference between him and I is he was not caught. If you had of been caught your life would have been totally screwed up like you did mine Bush. I will be one happy man to see you IMPEACHED with Cheney.
Take out the killings and legalize it, you will NEVER win this war, it's a proven fact as you just make it look like it works, Americans are not stupid , Legalize herb and tax it to help get back some of the money you wasted Bush. You are a waste Mr Bush,someone that does it but never got caught, you are no different than I am.
Far to many people are in prisons for simple possession and thats wrong, but its a money maker aint it Mr Bush??

I wrote Sen Chas Grassley,

I wrote Sen Chas Grassley, great name, pukey politics, and he sent me back a form letter. I sent him another letter, this one with verbatum quotes and patent numbers proving the USA has patents protecting the federal governments rights to possess medical marijuana and the proceeds from it and got back... nothing.

The prohibition against marijuana is the worst scandle since slavery in the south and lying in the north.

Now Obama puts up Biden?

I asked Carl Olsen, a major figure for our side with his wonderful applications for injunctive relief if it made any difo which one of these two idiots wins and he said,"No, the way I work,they have nothing to do with it." So, friends, all is not lost.

I would like to ask McShame, "If you want us to get all worked up about Obamamama raising taxes, just what the hell do you think your dumbass idea of staying at war will do alot more of than his spending for health care???!"

I am still for Dr Ron Paul if just to tell these corporately owned two party bullshitters that we are not down with the new boss.

I am globalsymetry@mchsi.com and if you support bushie you can kiss my ass.

Bush and Arnold thing they have Mexico for them now.

Mexico's Calderon takes power as fists fly
By Kieran Murray
Dec 1, 2006, 19:52
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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Felipe Calderon took power as Mexico's president on Friday despite fist fights in Congress and angry protests from leftists who say he stole July's election and had vowed to prevent him from taking office.

Surrounded by bodyguards, the conservative Calderon slipped into Congress through a back door, quickly declaring the oath of office and putting on the presidential sash as left-wing lawmakers screamed "Get out! Get out!"

He was then rushed out again. The lightning-fast ceremony lasted just four minutes, including the singing of Mexico's national anthem, and Calderon was unable to deliver the traditional speech.

Conservative lawmakers cheered and chanted slogans, while the left-wing opposition blew whistles and jeered.

Dozens of rival deputies earlier threw punches and chairs at each other and leftists built barricades to block the main doors and try to prevent Calderon from entering the building.

Although Calderon's security team outwitted his political foes, the chaotic scenes underlined Mexico's deep political divide, and cast doubt on how successful Calderon can be in ending months of unrest following his razor-thin election victory.

Calderon, 44, wants to push pro-business reforms through Congress, where his ruling National Action Party holds just 40 percent of seats and needs opposition support.

Calderon replaced outgoing President Vicente Fox, an ally and fellow conservative, in a solemn midnight ceremony at the presidential residence in Mexico City. The later swearing-in sealed his taking of office.

STREET PROTESTS

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the fiery anti-poverty campaigner who was Calderon's election rival, led tens of thousands of protesters in a march across the capital to its main concert hall, where the president was to speak later on Friday.

"They violated the constitution and trampled on Mexicans' dignity. They imposed him with a coup, and we are living with the consequences," Lopez Obrador told thousands of supporters in Mexico City's vast central square.

Although Mexico's financial markets were closed on Friday, the peso currency dropped in trading abroad as fights broke out in Congress but partially recovered when Calderon was sworn in.

Former U.S. President George Bush, father of the current U.S. president, and Spain's Crown Prince Felipe were among the few prominent foreign dignitaries to see the chaotic inauguration ceremony.

"It's good action," California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, best known for his Hollywood action movies, said dryly when asked about the brawls on the floor of Congress.

Calderon will be a key ally of the United States in Latin America, which has turned away from Washington in recent years with a string of left-wing gains in presidential elections.

A career politician who has an iron will but little charisma, he will also push for tax, energy and labor reforms and keep a tight rein on government spending even as he promises to cut the vast gap between rich and poor.

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