Mexico-Guatemala: The Invisible, Disturbing Border

first_imgBy Dialogo April 26, 2011 This border has always been that way. Smuggling has always existed, sometimes are the Mexicans other times are the Guatemalans. Authorities in both countries are corrupt and always demand something from the merchants. In these times of drug traffickers the situation has become tenser since they are always accompanied with violence. Now, I think the journalist exaggerated that Central America is one of the most violent regions in the world. Where does that come from? Who do we compare it to? They never talk about the benefits of a region that is rich in many things, of course that does not sell. Also it is the bulk of the population that is committed to walking hunchbacked for life to benefit the rest. Much of the violence has been imported from elsewhere, including European countries, mainly Spain. A few days ago I was surfing the Internet to look for information about my country’s (Guatemala) borders with Mexico, and I found there is a racist culture with violent tendencies toward us, Guatemalans especially. I would like to remind the journalist that wrote this article that, as the story goes, a portion of Mexico was part of Guatemala and that, when it comes down to it, we are all brothers in this world even if we do not share physical similarities, culture, education and many other things I could mention, we deserve respect. With the equivalent of a dollar and without any official documents, the border between Mexico and Guatemala can be crossed without any problem, a worrying fact in view of the trafficking of drugs and undocumented migrants and the fear of terrorist infiltration. On any ordinary day, smuggling proceeds at a frenetic pace at the so-called ‘Lemon Crossing’ (Paso Limón), one of the westernmost clandestine border crossing points, which links Ciudad Hidalgo (Mexico) and Tecún Umán (Guatemala) across the Suchiate River. On the Mexican side, men, women, and children load food, toilet paper, clothing, and other basic supplies onto rafts made from two tractor tires, which carry them to the other side of the river in exchange for ten Mexican pesos (eighty U.S. cents). They explain that all these items are cheaper in Mexico than in Guatemala, where they are sold as far away as the capital, 355 km distant. From Central America come vegetables, flowers, and dozens of migrants headed for the United States every day. From Paso Limón, another illegal crossing point can be seen, from which fuel is trafficked from Mexico to its neighbor. A few kilometers further on is an area known as Las Plataneras (‘The Banana Trees’), where few dare to tread. “Drugs, arms, everything passes through there. Last week, there was a quarrel there, and three men died in the firefight,” affirmed Nelson Ruiz, one of the ferrymen, speaking to AFP during a break. With the Mexican government concentrated on curbing drug-trafficking violence in the north, the United States is also alarmed by the lawless locations in the south. The State Department has reported that up to 80% of drugs arriving in the United States pass through Central America, while Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has warned of possible terrorist penetration along the porous Guatemalan-Mexican border. But the cartels’ money and criminal activities also reach Central America, considered one of the world’s most violent regions. According to the Guatemalan government, the Mexican Los Zetas cartel already controls a vast area in the northern part of the country, where the government had to impose a state of emergency in December. At the clandestine border crossing on the Suchiate, there was no sign of the authorities, but Ruiz, the ferryman, explained that certain norms and abuses exist behind the apparent anarchy. “Soldiers come every day. They don’t say anything to us about taking all this to Guatemala, but they don’t allow us to bring anything over from there. Those military personnel sometimes take things from us,” the ferryman, or ‘waiter,’ as they are called on this border, explained. The situation is worse when police officers are the ones who show up, Ruiz affirmed. “They come at night, in civilian clothes, and tell us that what we’re doing is illegal, and they demand up to 3,000 pesos (around 250 dollars) from us.” “And they have a point,” he admitted, “we deal with it as if it was paying taxes. Only that with this system, you risk them taking everything away from you,” he specified. In the regions of southern Mexico, trucks with cartel stickers do not travel the roads with impunity, nor do the firefights break out that have left thousands dead in the northern part of the country. What is disturbing about this border is what is not seen.last_img read more

Ithaca Police investigating backpack found with one-pot meth lab

first_imgNo more information has been released from the police department at this time. The police department says they were dispatched just before 8:00 a.m. to a railroad bridge behind Agway in the 200 block of S Fulton Street. They say an individual found the backpack while walking around.  Police officials say once officers examined the bag, it was determined to be an active one-pot meth lab. ITHACA, N.Y. (WBNG) — The Ithaca Police Department Patrol Division was dispatched to a railroad bridge for a suspicious backpack on Saturday. Police Dispatch: (607) 272-3245 Police Administration: (607) 272-9973 Police Tipline (607) 330-0000 Email: [email protected] Anonymous Email Tip Address: www.cityofithaca.org/ipdtips Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ithacapolice  Twitter: https://twitter.com/ithacapolice Anyone who has information involving this investigation should contact the Ithaca Police Department: The police department also says the New York State Police Contamination Crime Scene Emergency Response Team responded and assisted. Police also say they were assisted by the Ithaca Fire Department. last_img read more

“Respect the Profession or Get Out”

first_imgA cross view of the new students shortly after they were admitted.Associate Justice warns as Louis Arthur Grimes Law School admits 63The Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia (UL) has admitted 63 new students into its 2019 academic program, a release has said.At the ceremony, associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Sianeh Yuoh, admonished the in-coming and re-admitted students of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law to go the extra mile in their pursuit for legal knowledge, insisting that those who do not love and respect the profession should ‘get out.’Justice Yuoh, who spoke on Monday, September 2, during the opening of a week-long orientation in legal research, analysis and writing for the in-coming and re-admitted students, also urged the students to do everything they can to go for their chosen passion.According to the release, Associate Justice Yuoh entreated the students to search their hearts and make sure they want to be lawyers, citing an experience with a lawyer who the Supreme Court fined and suspended for “incompetence and reckless appearance before the Court.”“So go and think about it, because, if you want to be a lawyer, be a lawyer; you got one week in which to make up your mind. If you do not love and respect this profession, get out,” she admonished.“I’m only saying this to let you know that you have to do more than just getting up one morning and saying, ‘Instead of sitting down and doing nothing, let me go and do law,’” Justice Yuoh warned.The president of the National Trial Judges Association, Judge Roosevelt Willie, urged the students to make maximum use of all that they will be learning to become one of Liberia’s best lawyers.Judge Willie, who was ken on the writing and speaking ability of some lawyers, implored the first-year law students to strive to become the best legal practitioners.Professor Geegbae A. Geegbae, UL Vice President for Institutional Development and Planning, challenged the first-year law students to cultivate a culture of reading and doing more research if they must become professional lawyers. Prof. Geegbae proxied for UL President Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks.He then encouraged the students to be cognizant of the rules enshrined in the student handbook, adding, “Focus your attention to achieve academic excellence.”Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner, Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, said that the study of law is an exciting thing to do, yet challenging and requires having adequate information, preparation and endurance.“A key prerequisite for any decent chance of succeeding in the study and practice of law is knowing how the law is taught, studied and applied,” Warner said.This year, according to Associate Dean, Jamal C. Dehtho, Jr., more than 250 applications were received, but after a rigorous vetting process that included credential screening, the administering of two separate aptitude tests, and an in-person interview process, only 63 students (20 females and 43 males) met the Law School’s admission threshold.The in-coming students were meanwhile introduced to “legal baptism” into case briefing—a tedious academic exercise that dissects a court’s opinion and key elements and discusses its essence.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more