Cancun Drug Conference Opens, Chilean Activist Denies Aiding FARC

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Speaking at the 28th International Drug Enforcement Conference in Cancun, Mexican National Security Council representative Alejandro Poire said that the economic crisis suffered by the country in the 1970s and 1990s was an important factor in the growth of organized crime. The official said that bad economic policies implemented in Mexico between 1976 and 1995 weakened the nation’s social fabric, which played a central role in the formation of the cartels, reported newspaper El Informador.

 

  • Chilean activist Manuel Olate Cespedes, who is wanted by Colombia for his alleged collaboration with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC), denied financially supporting the rebel group. In an interview with Santiago newspaper El Mercurio, he said that his meetings with senior FARC leaders were intended to help find a solution to the conflict. The Colombian government has requested Olate’s extradition, accusing him of working to create an insurgent network in the Southern Cone, and helping to finance terrorism. As a delegate chosen from the Chilean Communist Party he visited alias “Raul Reyes” in his camp in Ecuador, as well as alias “Ivan Marquez” in Venezuela.
  • More figures on drug violence in the Mexican state of Jalisco: The war declared by the federal government against organized crime has left 1,073 dead in the state since 2006, of which 942 were execution-style killings. This indicates that 87 percent of all murders related to organized crime are executions. Jalisco ranks tenth in terms of states with the highest number of executions, making up 3.1 percent of the total such killings in the country. Magazine Milenio reports that preliminary figures on killings related to organized crime indicate that Jalisco will again break its previous year’s record of deaths as a result of the drug war.
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