Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) recently revealed that drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán held the power of a president up until his capture.
The Independent reported that AMLO praised his administration’s efforts to expose public officials who were connected to El Chapo’s notorious Sinaloa cartel.
“There was a time when Guzman Loera was as powerful, or had the influence, that the president had at that time,” AMLO told an audience in the southern city of Palenque. “That made it hard to punish those who had committed crimes. That is now history.”
These comments came a month after the arrest of Genaro Garcia Luna, a former Mexican official in charge of public security matters, who was charged in the United States with receiving millions of dollars in bribes from the Sinaloa drug cartel. Garcia Luna was politically active when El Chapo was the head of the Sinaloa cartel.
AMLO’s administration has not investigated former President Felipe Calderon, who was also leader when Garcia Luna was on the Sinaloa cartel payroll. Calderon was accused of accepting a $100 million bribe from the drug lord himself during the 2019 US trial of El Chapo.
AMLO’s “abrazos no balazos” – hugs not bullets – strategy to fighting cartels has yielded dismal results so far into his presidency.
This was most apparent when the Mexican government failed to capture El Chapo’s son Ovidio Guzmán. After being arrested, hundreds of cartel gunmen freed Ovidio Guzmán in the Mexican city of Culiacan, while government forces could do nothing to stop these gunmen.
The Mexican president admitted that his government still has work to do in matters of public security. However, he is proud of his anti-corruption efforts.
“We are purifying public life so there is moral authority,” he declared.
Last year, Guzmán received a life sentence in prison without parole and then transferred to a high max-security in Colorado after receiving a conviction in a US court for smuggling large amounts of drugs to the United States during his multiple decades of drug trafficking.
The violence taking place in Mexico has reached almost warlike proportions.
Taking this context into account, America must desperately address its border wall situation and get its immigration house in order.
Having a porous border will transport Mexico’s political dysfunction to our towns and cities.
This is one crisis that can be avoided through rational border security policies.
HISTORIC: President Trump Brokers Two-State Solution Between Israel and Palestine
On August 13, 2020, Israel and the United Arb Emirates announced that they will normalize diplomatic relations and establish new broad-based ties.
This represents a pivotal moment in Middle Eastern politics, as the hot-button political issues shift from the issue of Palestine to Iran. The Trump administration helped broker this deal.
Under this new agreement, Israel has nominally agreed to stop its plans to annex the areas of the occupied West Bank. This agreement also solidifies opposition to Iran, which has become stronger ever since the U.S. launched its disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003. At the moment, the U.S. views Iran as the principal threat in the Middle East.
Israel previously signed peace agreements with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. Up to this moment, the UAE and most other Arab countries did not maintain formal diplomatic or economic relations with the country until now. In normalizing relations with Israel, the UAE became the first Gulf Arab country to reach such an agreement with the Jewish state.
According to White House officials, the agreement was the result of extended discussions between Israel, the UAE, and the U.S.
In a joint statement featuring President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, they declared that they had “agreed to the full normalisation of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.”
“This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region,” the statement read.
Reuters reported that in another statement, the crown prince highlighted that the agreement would prevent further Israeli annexation of Palestinian land, which Israel claims to have been waiting for U.S. approval.
The agreement is known as the Abraham Accords. It provides Trump a foreign policy accomplishment as he pursues re-election in November.
“HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates,” Trump Tweeted.
HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2020
In a separate tweet, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, announced that the Trump administration was able to get Israel to agree with Palestinian people on a two-state solution.
The White House’s Twitter account announced this development:
President @realDonaldTrump was able to get Israel to agree to a two-state solution with the Palestinian people—and, for the first time in history, agree to a map that outlined the territory.
President @realDonaldTrump was able to get Israel to agree to a two-state solution with the Palestinian people—and, for the first time in history, agree to a map that outlined the territory. pic.twitter.com/8r3DWmzzOx
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 13, 2020
The Trump administration revealed that deals similar to the UAE and Israeli agreement are being crafted by Israel and other Arab states.
This marks a change in strategy from the nation-building of the Obama and Bush administrations, which largely benefited the defense industry, and relied upon misguided hard power instead of smart diplomacy to settle disputes.
Time will tell if such policies will last.
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