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MEXICO CITY - President Felipe Calderon made an impassioned defense of his military assault on organized crime in an unusual public faceoff Thursday with his biggest critics: sometimes weeping relatives of murder victims who blame the government for the bloodshed.  Poet Javier Sicilia, who lost his son to drug violence in March, opened the publicly televised exchange by demanding that Calderon take the military off the streets and apologize to victims for a failed strategy that he and others say have caused more than 35,000 deaths since Calderon took office in late 2006.

GUATEMALA CITY - The Obama administration pledged Wednesday to increase its investment in Central Americas security to nearly $300 million this year to thwart the expanding activities of drugs cartels threatening to destabilize the entire region.

WSJ: Venezuelan officials scrambled Thursday to reassure compatriots that President Hugo Chávez was not seriously ill after his brother said the president would remain in a Cuban hospital for up to 12 more days, making it likely that Mr. Chávez will be away from the country for nearly a month.

HaitiAnalysis: Leading members of Haiti's bourgeoisie tried to turn the Haitian police force into their own private army, according to a secret U.S. Embassy cable provided to Haiti Liberté by the media organization WikiLeaks.Then US Ambassador to Haiti James Foley warned in the cable "against private delivery of arms to the HNP" (Haitian National Police) after learning from a prominent Haitian businessman that "some business owners have already begun to purchase weapons and ammunition from the street and distribute them to local police officials in exchange for regular patrols."Fritz Mevs, a member of "one of Haiti's richest families and a well-connected member of the private sector elite" with major business interests in Port-au-Prince's downtown and port, was the principal source for Foley's May 27, 2005 report. Haiti's "private sector elite" has been a key U.S. ally in promoting Washington's agenda in the country, from free-trade and privatization of state enterprises to twice ousting Jean-Bertrand Aristide followed by U.S. and UN military occupations.

Tim's El Salvador Blog: While a recently leaked diplomatic cable from the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador sheds light on the prior Salvadoran government's machinations to enlist the Vatican's assistance to discourage international investigations of Archbishop Romero's assassination, historic embassy cables reveal U.S. intelligence insights on Archbishop Romero himself. A dozen cables obtained by George Washington University and posted on its National Security Archive show that the U.S. State Department believed that Archbishop Romero, at first, "played a critical and most constructive role on behalf of moderation and peaceful reforms," but the Embassy had soured on Archbishop Romero by January 1980, when diplomats began to perceive that the Archbishop was giving up on the Junta that came to power in a reformist 1979 coup in favor of a popular uprising.  The Carter Administration reassessed its views at the time of Romero's death in March 1980.

More headlines from the The Latin Americanist.

Just the Facts presents a timeline for 2009 Honduran coup.
Also, in case you missed it, El Salvador and Guatemalan links.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne

by maracatu on Fri Jun 24th, 2011 at 06:34:25 PM EST
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