Mexico City Grants Gays Right to Marry

Mexico City has emerged as the first Latin American city to endorse legal gay marriage and a host of other rights for gay couples. In a landmark decision, the Mexico City legislature voted 39-20 to approve legislation that will change the definition of marriage in the city’s civil code to read “the free uniting of two people.” Gay couples may be able to marry as early as February 2010. The bill also provides gay couples with the right to adopt children, to be included on one another’s insurance, obtain joint housing loans and the right to inheritance. The move has […]

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Sept. 15, 2009, as part of the WPR feature “Illicit Flows and Transnational Threats.” It is made available here for free, as part of a promotion that ends Jan. 5. To experience more of WPR’s subscription service, sign up for a 30-day free trial. In January 2009, retired Gen. Mauro Tello Quiñones took command of a police unit charged with combating drug-related violence in the popular Mexican tourist destination of Cancún. The assignment lasted just one week. In early February, Tello and two aides were kidnapped and killed. Before murdering Tello, the […]

During his first visit to Moscow as NATO’s secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen outlined his vision of “a true strategic partnership” between Russia and NATO by 2020. Unfortunately, the Dec. 16-18 trip also highlighted persistent divisions between Russia and the West regarding NATO enlargement, Afghanistan, and other areas that present serious obstacles to Rasmussen’s roadmap. The high point of Rasmussen’s visit was the speech he delivered at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). In addition to foreshadowing the agenda items that will likely dominate NATO-Russia discussions in coming months, Rasmussen’s remarks, entitled “NATO and Russia: Partners for the Future,” […]

Mexican Soldiers Continue to Wage War on Drugs

The Mexican government claimed a major victory in the war against drugcartels: kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva was killed Thursday in a shootout with a Mexican navy unit. While his death was a victory, soldierson the front lines of the war on drugs still have grave obstacles.Global Post correspondent Yone Greeyo reports for NewsHour.

Get a .pdf version of this report. During the last five decades, Colombia’s foreign, defense and strategic priorities have been driven and determined by the country’s internal armed conflict, with the “War on Drugs” becoming the dominant paradigm from the 1980s onwards. This, in turn, has defined Colombia’s relations with Latin America — particularly, in recent years, with its Andean neighbors, Ecuador and Venezuela — as well as its relationship with the United States and Europe. Colombia’s struggle to stem cocaine production, its fight against the drug cartels that sprung up around the drug trade, and its war against the […]

TORREÓN, Mexico — On Dec. 9, Mexican President Felipe Calderón tabbed Finance Minister Agustín Carstens to head the nation’s central bank, known as Banxico.Carstens replaces Guillermo Ortiz, a highly respected official who had occupied the post for 12 years. Despite a political climate increasingly hostile toward Calderón, the move — which had been rumored for weeks — brought waves of approval. The markets, the punditry, and that titan of Mexico’s economy, Carlos Slim, were all pleased by the selection, with the latter raving, “[W]ithout a doubt, Carstens has all of the credentials to occupy the post.” Among Calderón’s cabinet members, […]

Last week, I noted that the GOP’s defense hawks have taken to accusing President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats of exploiting America’s health care crisis to further their long-term “plot” to curtail defense spending — and, by extension, our nation’s capacity for military interventions abroad. The implied beneficiary of this “unilateral surrender”? Why, the Chinese, of course, who’d thereby be left free to conquer the developing world in their unending quest to secure raw materials. But a funny thing happened on the way to China’s presumed domination of the world’s natural resources: It ran into the same core problem that […]

World Citizen: Mediation as the Third Path to Global Power

Throughout history, the most transparent and blunt expression of international power has involved the projection of military force. Over the years, other forms of power have gained importance, with the concept of “soft power” — or the ability to peacefully persuade and attract other nations to acquiesce to a country’s will — recently gaining prominence as an alternative to traditional “hard power.” But for countries without the luxury of the large military budgets that fuel hard power or the massive cultural and economic assets that underpin soft power, a third way has emerged as a path to global influence. Call […]

“We must make sure that the deployment of our troops is not merely the appetizer and that the main course becomes . . . an outbreak of nation-building and infrastructure construction and resources which are . . . not within our capacity to provide for everyone around the world.” After eight years of operations in Afghanistan, and the recent announcement that additional troop deployments will continue to execute a strategy that stretches the military beyond its traditional combat role for at least another 18 months, the above quotation could easily convey the commitment-fatigue prevalent in Washington these days. But the […]

Morales Wins Another Term in Bolivia

Bolivia has re-elected Evo Morales for another term as president.Morales, the nation’s first indigenous leader, enjoys popular support.However some say his leadership has scared away foreign investment andcaters too heavily to the indigenous majority.

Trichet: Strong Dollar is Good for the Euro

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet says that a strongU.S. dollar is good for a bilateral relationship with the Euro. In aDow Jones Newswire interview, Trichet stressed that the independence ofall central banks of major economies, such as the Fed, is of extremeimportance for confidence — the key factor he believes has beenlacking since the financial crisis. For more on the global impact of the dollar, read this piece from WPR contributor Daniel McDowell.

Canada Mining Companies Blasted over Rights Abuses

Canadian mining companies continue to face pressure from politicians and human rights advocates to address persistent claims of rights abuses associated with their operations around the world. Allegations of abuse have been swirling around Canadian mining companies’ operations, which account for 43 percent of all the world’s exploration efforts, for more than a decade. Complaints about environmental degradation, health issues and rights abuses have come from communities in over two dozen countries — including Romania, Bolivia, Tanzania, and India — according to MiningWatch Canada. A United Nations report (.pdf) on a 2004 incident in which 73 people were killed in […]

MEXICO CITY — Lower house lawmakers convened into the wee hours of the Revolution Day long weekend, Nov. 16, to approve the spending portions of Mexico’s 2010 budget, which had been bogged down by demands for increased spending on the beleaguered rural economy from campesino groups linked to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The campesino groups got most of what they asked for, but according to the subsequent media spin, the PRI’s 19 state governors emerged as the real winners in the budget process — the first since the PRI and its ally, the Green Party, won control of the […]