Almost a year ago to the day, members of the Honduran military physically removed then-President Manuel Zelaya from the presidential palace, stripping him of the presidency and forcing him into exile in Costa Rica. In spite of massive international attention and multilateral efforts in the days and months that followed, reconciliation — both domestically and internationally — remains elusive. The region continues to be divided over current President Porfirio Lobo’s legitimacy, to the point that on a recent return flight from Peru, Lobo’s plane had to bypass Ecuadorian airspace because the Ecuadorian government still refuses to recognize his presidency. Arguing […]

MEXICO CITY — Ten years ago, Mexico’s National Action Party (PAN) swept to power on an agenda of change, ousting the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) after 71 years of uninterrupted rule. The PAN agenda included more jobs, 7 percent economic growth and honest government — a departure from the PRI, which had presided over a political system oiled by corruption and patronage. A decade later, removing the PRI from power on the federal level remains the party’s greatest accomplishment. Much of the center-right party’s agenda has gone unfulfilled, and the PAN has largely failed to establish itself as a party […]

As if to provide yet one more piece of evidence of the Afghan tragedy, the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released a report yesterday showing the devastating effects of domestically produced opium on Afghanistan’s own population. It complements other studies (.pdf) that have highlighted the suffering that Afghan opium, heroin, and other opiates cause in other countries. Taken together, the reports make it clear that solving the Afghan drug challenge will require a comprehensive multilateral approach. Yesterday’s UNODC report (.pdf), entitled “Drug Use in Afghanistan: 2009 Survey,” confirms a pattern seen in the international evolution of the […]

After Mexican President Felipe Calderon won a highly controversial election by a razor-thin margin in 2006, he kicked off his presidency by declaring war on his country’s increasingly powerful and brutal drug cartels, deploying tens of thousands of troops across the country. Since Calderon’s much-publicized crackdown began however, the death toll from drug violence in Mexico has exploded, claiming roughly 23,000 lives — including cartel members, innocent civilians, police officers and soldiers — with 4,000 of those deaths coming in the first five months of this year alone. Over the past four years, Ciudad Ju├írez, a sprawling city of 1.3 […]