Pocasting live on Latin America stories plus politics of… by Silvio Canto Jr https://t.co/unmHKORycg
— Fausta (@Fausta) February 28, 2017
As I have repeatedly posted over the years, migrants from other countries traveling through Mexico to reach the U.S. are frequently vulnerable to kidnapping.
This time the cops were the kidnappers:
Two agents from a special police unit known as Fuerza Coahuila have been arrested for the alleged kidnapping and extortion of a family of Central American migrants who were trying to get to Texas.
The police officers are accused of kidnapping and extorting the family by making promises of crossing them to Texas after a ransom was paid off. The agents had locked up the family at a stash house in this border city.
Sources within the Coahuila Attorney General’s Office (PGJE) confirmed to Breitbart Texas that this week that members of the PGJE Investigative Police Unit carried out a raid at the stash house where the Fuerza Coahuila members had allegedly been holding the family. The operation was kicked off after a Central American woman contacted authorities about the kidnapping of her family, The PGJE investigators arrested the two Fuerza Coahuila officers at the stash house.
Mexico’s government said on Friday it would not allow the United States to send undocumented migrants of other nationalities back to Mexico to await the outcome of their asylum proceedings in the US.
Many of the undocumented migrants trying to make their way to the US are Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence in their homelands. After making a trek fraught with danger through Mexico, they often request asylum once they reach US soil.
Mexico’s Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray asserted last week that We’ll Go to the U.N. to Defend ‘Human Rights’ of Mexicans in U.S..
Never mind the dismal state of the human rights of foreigners in Mexico; Videgaray would be well advised to look into the state of human rights of his fellow Mexicans. According to Human Rights Watch,
During the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexican security forces have been implicated in repeated, serious human rights violations—including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and torture—in the course of efforts to combat organized crime. The government has made little progress in prosecuting those responsible for recent abuses, let alone the large number of abuses committed by soldiers and police since former President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) initiated Mexico’s “war on drugs.”
HRW’s report touches on (click on link)
Not much coverage on this, the “first sit-down meeting” with a Latin American president,
Peru’s President Talks Growth, Trade and ‘Bridges’ With TrumpU.S. President Donald Trump on Friday held his first sit-down meeting with a Latin American leader since taking office, and was told by visiting President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of Peru that Peruvians “prefer bridges to walls.
Mr. Kuczynski, a former Wall Street banker and ex-World Bank economist, came to discuss economic growth in the region and problematic hot spots such as Venezuela.
. . .
Peru has a free-trade agreement with the U.S., China, Canada and European Union, among others. It was also a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade pact from which Mr. Trump withdrew the U.S., and the Pacific Alliance, a four-member Latin American group that includes Mexico, Chile and Colombia.
BBC studio production
Mac Margolis is enthusiastic,
Ecuador’s Voters Turn Back Latin America’s Pink Tide
So 10 million Ecuadoreans will have a second go at the polls in a runoff April 2. Suddenly, the whiff of competitive democracy in this patch of the Andes, where so-called Bolivarian socialists once called the shots, has voters in a lather. They streamed by the thousands into Quito this week to stand vigil as the National Electoral Council inexplicably drip-fed its tally.
Outside observers saw no foul play in the delay, but the anxiety was understandable. For the last decade, after all, this small and mostly poor Andean nation has lived in the shadow of Rafael Correa, a headstrong populist who ruled with one hand on the balcony and the other on the oil drum. Courting the poor, feeding the bureaucracy, bullying critics and hushing the media — all of these were part of the palace script. The Ecuadoran media watchdog Fundamedios documented 981 attacks on journalists over the last two years. (Correa’s response: Try to dissolve Fundamedios.) And if elections weren’t quite rigged, their rules were crafted to assure three-time President Correa and his ruling Alianza Pais coalition the upper hand.
More importantly, it reflects economic disasters,
In fact, Correa’s errors were merely masked by plenty, including a windfall in oil revenues, which he splashed on social programs and the bottomless bureaucracy. His aura dimmed with the end of the commodities boom, when the slump in oil prices led the way into deep recession in 2016, with only modest growth projected for this year. If once Correa could thumb his nose at foreign creditors — he defaulted on $3.2 billion in sovereign bonds in 2008 — the downturn has forced his hand. Fitch Ratings reported that Ecuador needs some $10.3 billion this year to close its deficits. In five years, the country’s debt burden has swelled from 18 percent of gross domestic product to 40 percent today, Fitch said in a client note on Feb. 14. That’s a hole not even lavish Chinese loans can cover.
I’m cautiously optimistic on the elections, in a “live to fight another day” way.
Elizabeth Harrington reports that Feds Paid $1 Billion in Social Security Benefits to Individuals Without a SSN. Errors occurred because the agency did not keep paper applications supporting an individual’s case to receive benefits
The agency’s [Social Security Administration] inspector general found errors in the government’s documentation for representative payees, otherwise known as individuals who receive retirement or disability payments on behalf of another person who is incapable of managing the benefits themselves.
The audit released Friday found thousands of cases where there was no SSN on file.
Over the last decade, the agency paid $1 billion to 22,426 representative payees who “did not have an SSN, and SSA had not followed its policy to retain the paper application.”
The story brings to mind the other headlines from South Florida, involving Medicare fraud where the suspects fled to Cuba
The FBI’s field office in Miami estimates there are about 160 defendants on the lam from active Medicare fraud cases in South Florida. Together, the fugitives are accused of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the taxpayer-funded Medicare program for seniors and disabled by submitting false claims for a variety of bogus services, including medical supplies, physical therapy and prescription drugs.
Almost all of the fugitives are Cuban-born immigrants who fled to Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and other Spanish-speaking countries to evade federal trials. With the exception of Cuba, several foreign countries with U.S. extradition treaties have assisted federal authorities in capturing and returning the Medicare fraud fugitives. But most of the time, the FBI simply catches a break when the fugitives try to come back to the United States.
Hundreds of millions, indeed billions of your hard-earned dollars . . . gone.
Going for a goth theme, the WaPo unveiled a new banner,
Meanwhile, I find out from commenter Bill that
A Google search for “Fausta’s Blog” no longer turns up the current edition of faustasblog.com.
I’m having my tech support guy look into it.
During nearly thirteen years of blogging, I have received invitations to parties at the Venezuelan embassy (curiously timed to coincide with my posts on Chávez), denial of service attacks, death threats, and enough obnoxious comments to fill another blog (which made me cut down on comments enough to the point that now I barely get any).
So excuse me for sounding paranoid, but yeah, call me paranoid if you want.
All the same, I thank you for your support, and please remember to share my posts and support my advertisers.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is at the border; the WaPo reports,
Ryan makes trip to U.S.-Mexico border as lawmakers mull building Trump’s wall
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan led a delegation of House Republicans on a six-hour tour of the U.S.-Mexico border Wednesday, seeing firsthand by helicopter, horse and boat the security challenges of keeping out undocumented immigrants President Trump wants to block with a costly wall.
Ryan (R-Wis.), on his first trip to the border, said in a statement afterward that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents on the ground need “more tools and more support . . . for them to do their jobs effectively.” He said Congress “is committed to securing the border and enforcing our laws” and pledged cooperation with the Trump administration.
Sec. of State Rex Tillerson is in Mexico. The Mexicans are not exactly thrilled
“I want to make it emphatically clear that neither Mexico’s government or the Mexican people have any reason to accept provisions that have been unilaterally imposed by one government on the other,” Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said at a ceremony on Wednesday.
“We won’t accept it because we don’t have to,” he added, in an apparent reference to U.S. plans to return illegal migrants to Mexico, regardless of their nationality.
Videgaray doesn’t seem to remember how Mexico treated Andrew Tahmooressi.
If Videgaray’s name sounds familiar, he’s the guy who quit as Finance Minister after the Peña Nieto-Trump press conference didn’t work the way he expected.
Livefeed of Tillerson press conference in Mexico