January 27 2015 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

The Beginning of the End for Venezuela’s Al Capone

An economy crippled by inefficiency and streets flooded with crime have long marred Caracas and the rest of Venezuela. Over the years, corruption has paved the way for organized crime to overrun the Bolivarian Republic, and as the rule by law became the rule by men, one man has stood atop the racket: Diosdado Cabello Rondón.

Cabello is best known as the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, but has also earned his reputation as the “Al Capone” of Venezuela and one of the top kingpins in Latin America.

On Tuesday morning, Venezuelans awoke to a silver lining when US authorities announced they had secured a high-value informant to testify against Cabello: his bodyguard, Lieutenant Commander Leamsy Salazar. As Salazar begins to sing to US law enforcement, it is important for the public to know who his melody will be about…. (more…)

September 26 2014 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

Obama’s global retreat leads to Gangsta’s Paradise in Latin America

With world leaders back in New York this week for the UN General Assembly, most of the attention was focused on Russia’s power grab in Ukraine and the so-called Islamic State’s march through Syria and Iraq. Yet as nearly three dozen heads of state in Latin America and the Caribbean know all too well, the power vacuum left by Team Obama’s withdrawal of U.S. leadership has sprouted chaos in their region too.

After spending much of August in Mexico, I was saddened to see the damage wrought by the drug wars. Once a relatively safe country, Mexico has been overrun by half-a-dozen powerful cartels which have battled each other and government forces leading to over 100,000 deaths within the past decade.

While the body count continues to climb there and in Central America, fueling the ever-worsening immigration crisis, it’s natural to look to Washington for answers. Though the 2008 Merida Initiative authorized over $2 billion on training and equipping Mexican forces while reforming their judicial system, it isn’t close to turning the tide…. (more…)