Violence in Central America and the War on Drugs
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Mexico's infamous drug cartels are being driven into Central America, where the homicide rate now leads the world. What is the US doing to stop the demand for heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine? Why are Central American leaders calling for legalization? Also, Syrian President Assad's forces are in control of a shattered neighborhood of Homs after rebels retreat, and the sudden death of Andrew Breitbart. We look back at his style and his influence on political dialogue.
Banner image: An assault rifle, semiautomatic pistols, ammo and other stuff seized in the arrest of ten alleged members of the drug cartel 'Los Zetas', are presented to the press in Monterrey, Mexico, on February 9, 2012. Photo by Julio Cesar Aguilar/AFP/Getty Images
Assad Forces in Control of Shattered Neighborhood after Rebel Retreat ()
After four weeks of shelling by government troops, the Free Syrian Army announced today its retreat from the Bab Amr neighborhood in the City of Homs. The rebels said they were concerned for civilians, but there are unconfirmed reports that government forces have entered the area. That's according to Liz Sly in Beirut, Lebanon for the Washington Post.
The Drug War Moves to Central America ()
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the war on drugs "has not worked." But Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is going full steam ahead. This week, she travelled from Mexico to Central America, tracking the progress of drug cartels, which have shifted their operations. The UN says Central America's now the main route for drugs bound for the US, and that region has become the murder capital of the world. Some Latin American leaders want the US to decriminalize drug use. Is that a cry of desperation? We hear from President Obama's drug czar and others.
- Sebastian Rotella: ProPublica
- Vanda Felbab-Brown: Brookings Institution
- Jose R. Cardenas: National Security Council (former)
- Gil Kerlikowske: Office of National Drug Control Policy
Conservative Blogger Andrew Breitbart Dies at 43 ()
Two years ago, Andrew Brietbart was the subject of profiles calling him a "star of the tea party movement," and a conservative journalist who attacked the mainstream media for conspiring to make Barack Obama look good. He helped put together the Huffington Post, the Drudge Report and his own websites. With a history of heart problems, the 43-year-old reportedly collapsed and died during a walk near his home in Brentwood, a part of Los Angeles. All the leading Republican candidates are mourning his loss, which is leading the news in the conservative blogosphere. David Weigel is a political reporter for Slate.com.
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