Mexico: Send an Email, Start a Revolution


April 28, 2007: The navy is diverting much of its resources to increasing security around oil facilities. Islamic terrorist groups have threatened to attack those facilities, which are used to ship over $30 billion worth of oil to the United States each year. April 25, 2007: The government will continue to subsidize the cost of tortillas. The "tortilla pact" will continue at least until mid-August. International corn prices have risen and increased the price of tortillas (which are primarily made from corn in Mexico). The cost of tortillas rose about 15 percent in 2006. Tortillas are the food staple of Mexico. Price rises dramatically affect Mexico's poor, often in the form of riots, demonstrations and increased support for criminal and rebel groups.

April 24, 2007: The police arrested Eleazar Medina, a well-known "hit man" (paid killer) who worked for the Gulf drug Cartel. A self-proclaimed "new guerrilla group" has appeared in the Mexican state of Oaxaca (south Mexico). The Southern People's Revolutionary Brigade (BPRS) claimed that it is the armed wing of the Oaxacan People's Popular Assembly (APPO). This group took the lead in running the huge strikes and protests that took control of Oaxaca City from May to October 2006. The BPRS said that one of its goals is to remove Oaxaca's governor, Ulises Ruiz, from power. Is the group for real? It used to take a fax machine and one or two "armed incidents" to be a guerrilla group. Now it takes an email letter. The Mexican government, however, cannot dismiss the group out of hand. The Oaxaca "occupations" were a major political embarrassment for the government of former Mexican president Vicente Fox. The new president, Felipe Calderon, is dealing with security challenges "head on." The war with drug gangs is an example. Calderon does not want to get bogged down by a new series of mass strikes in Oaxaca.

April 20, 2007: The army continues to prosecute its antidrug gang operation in the state of Nuevo Leon (northern Mexico). At least 100 local and state police have been arrested by the Mexican Army. Nuevo Leon state authorities reported some of the policemen under arrest were "linked to organized crime" (which usually means drug gangs). Arrests were made in several cities and towns.


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