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Author Topic: United States' Relationship with Mexico  (Read 7565 times)

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Offline SageDad

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United States' Relationship with Mexico
« on: April 10, 2010, 01:25:59 PM »
The two year anniversary of the abduction of my son looms over me like a dark and oppressive cloud.  Even after all this time my mind often races searching for new ways to help bring Sage home.  I'm an engineer.  I solve problems.  Every problem has a solution... but time is not on my side.  Every day that passes is an opportunity lost for me and my growing son.  A problem must be understood before it can be solved and, when my efforts to bring my son home continue to fail, I naturally assume that I don't sufficiently understand the problem and look for the critical piece of information that I'm missing.

Mexico stands alone as the undisputed most popular destination for abducted American children and they always have, yet almost no one talks about child abduction to Mexico.  Brazil and Japan have been in the spotlight on the issue of late with the abduction of Sean Goldman and the incarceration of Chris Savoie, and, less recently, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Germany made the news as nations complicit in, or directly sanctioning, the abduction of American children.  In the past 15 years there have been at least 10 Congressional hearings on international child abductions yet all of them only mention Mexico in passing before focusing on the issue as it pertains to other countries.  Why pass over Mexico when there are more children abducted to Mexico in single year than have been abducted in the last 10 years to all the previously mentioned countries combined?  I have thought about that question for a long time now and have become convinced that the general belief is that there are "bigger problems" in Mexico, a belief, or a reality, that relegates the relatively "minor" issue of child abduction to a relatively low priority when Mexico is viewed from a foreign policy standpoint.  Issues like immigration, border security, the war on drugs, free trade and job outsourcing make child abduction to Mexico an afterthought.

In this thread I will outline my efforts to understand these issues which overshadow my son's continued illegal retention in Salamanca, GTO, the city widely recognized as having the most polluted air in all of Mexico due to their heavy industries and oil refinery (migratory birds flying over Salamanca die every year as a direct result of the poor air quality -- though we are assured there is no danger to humans.)  I hope that in doing so I will find the key that I'm missing before it's too late.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 01:39:25 PM by carlos »
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Offline SageDad

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Reality check for U.S.-Mexico relations
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2010, 01:31:54 PM »
Interesting article.. Somehow I don't think Obama brought up Mexico topping the worldwide abduction charts (for American children and children overall).

Reality check for U.S.-Mexico relations

Obama may find Mexico and its drug war a compelling foreign policy issue.
January 15, 2009|Denise Dresser, Denise Dresser, a contributing writer to Opinion, is a columnist for the newspaper Reforma.

WRITING FROM MEXICO CITY — On Monday, President-elect Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon engaged in a time-honored tradition: At the outset of a new U.S. administration, the American president meets the Mexican head of state before all others. Obama and Calderon got the chance to look into each other's eyes and speak about the importance of U.S.-Mexico relations -- the diplomatic equivalent of new neighbors meeting over a cup of tea.

Now it's time to move beyond etiquette and face hard facts. Mexico is becoming a lawless country. More people died here in drug- related violence last year than were killed in Iraq. The government has been infiltrated by the mafias and drug cartels that it has vowed to combat.

Although many believe that Obama's greatest foreign policy challenges lie in Afghanistan or Iran or the Middle East, they may in fact be found south of the border. Mexico may not be a failed state yet, but it desperately needs to wage a more effective war against organized crime, and it must have the right kind of American help and incentives to succeed.


Over the last decade, the surge in drug trafficking and Calderon's failed efforts to contain it have been symptomatic of what doesn't work in Mexico's dysfunctional democracy. In 2007, violence related to the drug trade resulted in more than 2,000 murders in Mexico, and in 2008, the toll was more than 5,000. Only a few months ago, top-level officials in the Public Security Ministry were arrested and charged with protecting members of Mexico's main drug cartels.

Calderon's promises to "clean up the house" have not gone far enough. As George Orwell wrote, "People denounce the war while preserving the type of society that makes it inevitable."

The Mexican president, who is seeking a stronger "strategic" relationship with the United States, surely told Obama on Monday that the heightened level of violence was a result of government efficiency in combating drug cartels. In that view, the rise in street "executions" is evidence of a firm hand, not an ineffectual one.

But Calderon's self-congratulatory stance masks a president who insists on closing his eyes in the face of deep-rooted problems and complex challenges.
“What you seek is seeking you.”
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Offline SageDad

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U.S.-Mexico relations: No spring break
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2010, 06:14:05 PM »
Secretary Clinton was just in Mexico over the last two weeks.  Even though she heads the US government agency that "places the highest priority on the welfare of children who have been the victim of international child abduction" I doubt she ever raised the issue with any level of the Mexican government during this visit or any of the numerous other visits she's made to Mexico since her appointment as Secretary of State.  The State department authorizes the fleeing of it's own consular officers from Mexico and has set two travel advisories for Mexico over the past year due to border violence, "kidnapping threats" and the swine flu but remains duplicitously silent on thousands of abducted American children in Mexico with new ones crossing our southern border every single day.

U.S.-Mexico relations: No spring break
By Kipp Lanham | Published: 03/23/10 at 1:00 AM | Updated: 03/22/10 at 11:45 PM


Although families of workers for the United States Consulate have vacated Mexico after three Americans were killed leaving a birthday party, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet A. Napolitano have booked a trip there for next week.

Secretaries Clinton and Napolitano will be traveling to Mexico next week as part of the Merida U.S.-Mexico High Level Consultative Group meeting with Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa.

This comes after the U.S. State Department authorized families of U.S. government employees in several northern Mexico cities to exit the country until April 12.

The timing of the meeting in Merida comes at a tenuous time for foreign policy in the United States. Relations with Israel and Russia have been rough due to settlement and nuclear issues. President Barack Obama had to delay his trip to Indonesia and Australia due to health care legislation on the verge of potential passage in Congress. The State Department emphasized in a press release that the meeting had been previously planned over many months. Relations with Mexico only add to the difficulties as both sides try to overcome the shadow cast from the violence in Ciudad Juarez.

Espinosa and Clinton plan to discuss the “shared goals of breaking the power of drug trafficking organizations; strengthening the rule of law, democratic institutions and respect for human rights; creating a 21st century border; and building strong and resilient communities.” Excluded from these shared goals is resumption of the Cross-Border Trucking Services Demonstration Program as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Last year, the U.S. suspended this program unilaterally. In response, Mexico suspended trade benefits for a number of U.S. products. Mexico seeks that the U.S. comply with NAFTA and resume the Cross-Border Trucking Services Demonstration Program.

Is unilateralism the “smart power” enacted by the State Department under Secretary Clinton and President Obama? Robert Kagan, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, commented in his recent column that the Obama Administration “has worse relations overall with American allies than George W. Bush did in his second term.” Kagan stated that U.S. foreign policy is becoming more neutrality rather than multilateralism. The results of this U.S. foreign policy with Russia, Iran, or Israel do smart. The new START treaty has yet to be signed. Iran continues on its path toward nuclear weapons without new sanctions from the United Nations. Secretary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden chastised for building homes in Jerusalem. What can be expected from the Merida meeting?

The focus of the meeting will most likely be on stopping the violence and drug trafficking rather than resetting trade relations. President Obama already appears confident in Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s efforts as he has been invited to a state dinner in May. Meanwhile, Congressmen from near the Texas-Mexico border have already been involved in talks with Mexico as they met with Arturo Sarukhan, Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Congressman including Solomon P. Ortiz, Harry Teague, Silvestre Reyes, Ciro Rodriguez, Henry Cuellar and Ruben Hinojosa expressed their commitment to assisting Mexico with drug-related violence on the U.S.-Mexico border. The U.S. has also pledged around $1.4 billion in aid to Mexico to fight drug trafficking.

Violence towards U.S. offices in Mexico is rare. USA Today reported that in 2008 two men attacked a U.S. consulate in Monterrey, Mexico, with gunfire and a grenade which destroyed the building’s façade. Drug traffickers are suspected as responsible for the deaths last week in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico of three workers connected to the United States Consulate. The violence in Northern Mexico has contributed to lower trips from hunters and only adds to the series of problems that have affected tourism in Mexico the last few years including the swine flu and hurricanes.

If the U.S. repaired its trade agreements with Mexico, perhaps talks on border security and reducing drug trafficking might succeed instead of risking further delays. Also, the U.S. and Mexico delegations in Merida may want to consult Jesus Malverde, the patron saint for drug traffickers in Mexico, for advice on how to stop the violence.

Kipp Lanham is a political communications strategist who has worked on Capitol Hill and K Street as an intern and communications professional. Kipp has been published in The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and The Hill.  Kipp graduated from American University’s School of Communication with a M.A. in Public Communication.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 06:15:50 PM by carlos »
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Offline SageDad

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Re: United States' Relationship with Mexico
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2010, 12:20:33 AM »
I've been doing some more research on Mexico and US foreign relations related and border policy on Wikipedia.  Once again I see that the issue of international child abduction is completely missing from any of the pages on these topics.  The beauty of Wikipedia is that I can correct this oversight and add child abduction to the pages on Foreign Policy and the US Mexican Border.  Actually, I've noticed that Wikipedia is sorely lacking in information on many aspects of international child abduction.  I think it's important for this to be improved and plan to spend some time doing some updates.
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Offline M.Capestro

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Re: United States' Relationship with Mexico
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2010, 08:20:41 AM »
I've been doing some more research on Mexico and US foreign relations related and border policy on Wikipedia.  Once again I see that the issue of international child abduction is completely missing from any of the pages on these topics.  The beauty of Wikipedia is that I can correct this oversight and add child abduction to the pages on Foreign Policy and the US Mexican Border.  Actually, I've noticed that Wikipedia is sorely lacking in information on many aspects of international child abduction.  I think it's important for this to be improved and plan to spend some time doing some updates.

I'm glad you brought this up, Carlos. I had wondered about this a few weeks back, just haven't had an opportunity to look into it. If there are others who are willing to help in this effort, please "sign up." So many people reference Wikipedia - if we could update other pages that touch international child abduction and make reference to certain cases or supporting organizations, it might help raise awarements. For example, update pages of congressman and senators who have demonstrated support, submit pages for the house resolutions, media outlets or reporters who have been supportive. Any indirect topic that you believe links back to international child abduction. What do you all think about this?

Offline UD_student

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Re: United States' Relationship with Mexico
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2010, 09:20:56 AM »
I agree that can be a good thing to do in order to raise awareness. It definitely is easier to do from the comfort of your home than going out to protests although doing that is definitely important.

Regretfully, on the talk page about Japan, several cases are listed as needing citations from 'reputable' sources and people raise that they think Paul Toland was editing his information erroneously (if he has, then I'm sure he would know the facts more than any outsider...) and basically the people editing it stated there wasn't an international abduction because Erika was born in Japan and lived there before she was abducted. I read enough to get quite perturbed and decided to not go back to that Wikipedia page for awhile. Clearly, something is wrong when a parent is legally forbidden to see their child as there would be an uproar if any US judge let a parent move out, take his/her kids, and refuse to let the other parent see the children 'just because' (the abducting parent would just make up some reason for a judge in the US). I don't know that much about news sources that are permitted to be used, but I strongly think it would be great to get some solid references there (like the Tom Lantos Dec 2 hearing information, point to BringSeanHome.org, bachome.org and any other websites applicable (like youtube videos of Dec 2 testimony), and provide basic information to raise awareness.

Offline SageDad

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Re: United States' Relationship with Mexico
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2010, 11:02:55 AM »
Yes, I did some research about the politics and intracacies of "disputed" or "un-verified" information on Wikipedia.  I'm by no means an expert but the key thing is to have solid references to external (ie non-Wikipedia pages) that cite the information you are including in the Wiki articles.  There's no reason you couldn't just cite BringSeanHome.org as a reference for purposes of Wikipedia, though there are many other well known sources for this information.  The US State Department's website includes much of this information in their "Country Specific Abduction Flyers" and "Noncompliance Reports."  Various reports have also been done by Congressional researchers, the Governemnt Accountability Office, the NCMEC and the US Department of Justice, and many other government and non-government agencies and associations -- all this in addition to the Congressional testimony that has been done over the years.  The credible sources are out there, it's just a matter of getting the updates into Wikipedia and citing our sources if other Wikipedia editors decide to challenge our changes.
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Offline SageDad

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Re: United States' Relationship with Mexico
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2010, 12:06:14 PM »
I updated the pages on US foreign policy w/ Mexico and Mexican foreign policy with the US to include mention of international child abduction between the two countries.  Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico–United_States_relations

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_policy_of_the_United_States

There are other articles I want to update too, like the one on the US/Mexican border, but I've started working on a whole new Wikipedia article on "International Child Abduction to Mexico."  It's still in draft form, but I will post a link once I publish it.
“What you seek is seeking you.”
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Offline SageDad

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Re: United States' Relationship with Mexico
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2010, 08:04:32 PM »
Ok, I've done it :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_child_abduction_to_Mexico

It doesn't have nearly everything I'd like it to have but it's a very good start.  Having to constantly cite sources makes it slow going and maintaining an "encyclopedic tone" takes some getting used to.  I really wonder if my son would be in Mexico today if someone else had written that page 2 years ago.
“What you seek is seeking you.”
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Offline phillyone

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Re: United States' Relationship with Mexico
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2010, 08:22:47 PM »
 :yeahthat.. I like it .. good job Carlos!

Offline greg4sean

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Re: United States' Relationship with Mexico
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2010, 02:03:55 AM »
Great Job!
As Sean said to David: "Maximum Force"
 
Isaac Savoie: “The Force is in you Daddy!”

Offline M.Capestro

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Re: United States' Relationship with Mexico
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2010, 07:20:12 AM »
Carlos, you are amazing. Well done.

One question - you have a sub-section titled "Adam Walsh" -- do you mean that to be "John Walsh"?

Offline SageDad

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Re: United States' Relationship with Mexico
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2010, 08:41:52 AM »
Carlos, you are amazing. Well done.

One question - you have a sub-section titled "Adam Walsh" -- do you mean that to be "John Walsh"?

oops.. thanks for pointing that out, I changed it to "John Walsh, Television Host of America's Most Wanted and Co-Founder, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children" which is how he was listed in the witness list in the official record for that congressional testimony.
“What you seek is seeking you.”
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Offline Bree

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Re: United States' Relationship with Mexico
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2010, 08:08:11 PM »
Great job, Carlos!


Af or Paul Toland's case:
IIRC, Erika Toland has dual citizenship.  She has a right to be with her dad.  Some people need to put themselves in the LBPs shoes and ask themselves if they would walk away from their child. 
"Every parent who has a child and they tuck him in at night, or her in at night, and they wish the best and only the best and they will always protect the child and do whatever they can, but most of the time they don't have to prove it. I'm in the proving grounds, to myself and to my child.  I have to get him home and I will do whatever I have to. I'll never stop to save him."  --David Goldman

Offline M.Capestro

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Re: United States' Relationship with Mexico
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2010, 07:44:51 AM »
And already they're tweeting about it. Found the below this morning (naturally I retweeted it  :biggrin)

@SecureNetNow  Look at this - International child abduction to Mexico - Wikipedia, the free ... http://bit.ly/ds7Ub6