MONROVIA, Liberia — Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), modeled after South Africa’s approach to moving beyond the violence and repression of apartheid, moved into its final stages last week. At a final conference on the outskirts of Monrovia, 400 representatives from around the country and the Liberian diaspora met to discuss findings from the thousands of hearings conducted so far, and to determine the path ahead. That, many agree, will not be an easy task. The commission was established in 2005 to address the legacy of the civil war that ravaged the country from 1989 to 2003. The roots […]
Throughout the developing world, the post-Cold War era has seen the emergence of increasingly powerful and violent criminal organizations, often referred to as “third-generation gangs.” These groups have exploited the major international trends of the past 20 years — including economic and financial integration, innovations in communication technology, the prevalence of weak and failed states, and a thriving global arms trade — to seize control over a myriad of illicit commercial networks. They now use violence and corruption to undermine the governments that oppose them. Latin America has proven particularly vulnerable to this phenomenon. The region has porous borders and […]
MEXICO CITY — Federal officials used the word “historic” to describe the May 26 arrests of 28 local officials, including 10 mayors, in the western state of Michoacán. Those detained were allegedly linked to La Familia, a drug cartel known for running extortion rackets, producing methamphetamines and corrupting municipal governments. Opposition politicians and some political observers, meanwhile, expressed disquiet with the arrests and questioned their timing. The sting operation — which netted mayors from the three main parties, including a pair from President Felipe Calderón’s National Action Party (PAN) — came barely five weeks before the July 5 midterm legislative […]
Countries of South America’s Southern Cone are experiencing a growing drug scourge among their young people. World Politics Review contributing editor and freelance journalist Guy Taylor reports from Uruguay and Argentina, where health officials cited a 200 percent increase during recent years in the number of young people addicted to the new smoke-able cocaine product known by the street-name “Paco.” Taylor also blogged for WPR while reporting in Argentina in 2007.