The Peruvian government’s suspension of coca eradication operations last week raised the question of whether newly elected President Ollanta Humala might embrace a pro-coca legalization policy in line with that of President Evo Morales in neighboring Bolivia. In addition to suspending eradication, Humala also replaced Peru’s top counterdrug and intelligence officials. However, according to Coletta Youngers, a senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America and specialist in international drug control policy, neither development signals an aggressive shift in Peru’s counternarcotics policy. Youngers cautioned Trend Lines this morning not to “read more into what has happened with [Peru’s] eradication […]
Amid the anxiety and devastation of the London riots, there was one brief comic interlude, when the government of Iran urged British authorities to use restraint in dealing with protesters. The appeal was bitterly amusing, of course, because of the brutal tactics Tehran used to put down protests in 2009. Police in London managed to end the rioting using traditional crowd-control methods. But then, in the wake of a public outcry over the disturbances and the disappointing performance of the police, British Prime Minister David Cameron made a highly controversial proposal: Next time, he suggested, the government might choke off […]
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has had a rocky seven months in office. Having already shuffled her cabinet three times, twice due to corruption scandals, Rousseff is now facing a brewing controversy in the Tourism Ministry that has the potential to force a fourth cabinet change. One might expect the shaky start to undermine Rousseff’s credibility, but so far she has managed to weather the storm. Despite her lack of charisma, her inexperience as a politician and a cabinet tainted by corruption allegations, she remains popular. Her approval rating stands at 67 percent, according to a poll by Brazilian firm IBOPE […]
The riots this past week in the United Kingdom, coming on the heels of the terrorist attack in Norway last month, the protests in Greece and the tsunami and subsequent nuclear accident in Japan earlier this spring, should be a wake-up call to Europe and the rest of the developed world that it cannot ignore the domestic side of the national security equation. It is time to dispense with the hubris of thinking that natural disasters, civil unrest or terrorism produces instability only in countries like Haiti or Iraq. And as Reuters correspondent Peter Apps notes, while a massive police […]
With the U.S. expanding the role of CIA operatives and possibly private security contractors in Mexico’s drug war, there were reports this week that both countries are intent on circumventing Mexican laws that prohibit foreign military and police from operating inside the country. That Mexican President Felipe Calderón would openly embrace such a strategy is “not entirely surprising,” says Hal Brands, a historian at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, who notes that Mexican laws have long left the country in an awkward position when it comes to seeking security assistance from its northern neighbor. “The problem is that […]
Two days of angry clashes in parts of north London have seen 26 police officers injured and over 160 arrests. Small pockets of unrest remain active, according to Scotland Yard.
An analysis released this week by the computer security firm McAfee (.pdf) exposed the widespread hacking of more than 70 corporations and government organizations worldwide. McAfee did not identify the hackers, saying only that evidence pointed to a nation-state as having carried out the attacks. However, some experts were quick to point to China as the most likely culprit. While he believes that may be an accurate assessment, Chris Bronk, a World Politics Review contributor and fellow in information technology policy at the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston, says “the hardest thing on […]
Police in Mexico have nabbed the boss of a drug cartel’s armed wing in Ciudad Juarez. Nicknamed ‘El Diego’, the head hit-man is linked to many deaths in Mexico’s ongoing bloody drug war.