OUR COMMENTS AND UPDATES ON RECENT STORIES

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MISSING 43 STUDENTS IN MEXICO-ALLEGED DRUG CARTEL LEADER ARRESTED:

Mexican authorities announced that they had detained Felipe Rodriguez Salgado as a suspect in the alleged murder of 43 students who went missing last fall from a teaching college near Iguala, Mexico. So far, 45 people have been charged in connection with the case, including the former mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, and his wife, Maria de los Angeles (See, “Shallow Graves, Drug Cartels, Corrupt Politicians and 43 Students Missing in Mexico: Is Mexico Safe for Tourists?” at sopusa.net). Salgado is believed to be a close associate of leaders of the Guerrero or United Warriors drug cartels. The linkage between politicians and the cartels has allegedly shocked Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto (although the practice has been going on for decades), and reportedly has derailed his efforts to focus on the nation’s economy; antigovernment militants have taken to the streets, wearing masks and setting fire to state buildings, in Guerrero. Relatives and friends of the missing students, some hoping that their loved ones are still alive, have been denied access to some army bases where the remains of only one of the 43 students have been identified. Many of those detained are either police officers or affiliates of the police; the shady nexus between the Mexican police and drug cartels, usually intertwined with graft and fear, has also existed for decades.

DEATH PENALTY ISSUE FAVORS GOV MARTIN O’MALLEY VERSUS HILLARY CLINTON FOR MANY VOTERS

We recently wrote about Governor O’Malley’s recent decision to offer clemency to the remaining death row inmates in Maryland and stressed the difference in opinion between him and Clinton on these issues (“Governor Martin O’Malley to Commute Death Penalty Sentences”). The Clinton problem on this issue has its genesis in a decision Bill Clinton made in 1992; while in the midst of his Presidential campaign, and still Governor of Arkansas, he made a decision not to issue an order of executive clemency to halt the execution of Rickey Ray Rector, who was convicted in 1982 for the murder of police officer, Bob Martin in Conway, Ark. Rector had turned his own gun on himself after killing Martin, and shot himself in the brain leaving him at a mental state of a “zombie” according to his lawyer (although the courts had apparently found him fit to face execution). The prevailing thinking at the time was that Clinton did not want to be viewed as being “soft on crime” and he knew that Arkansas voters were heavily in support of the death penalty. Although Clinton would later revise his position on the issue, after the election, his actions at the time were disingenuous. Hillary made her pro-death penalty stance well-known during her Senate campaign in New York. However, now that polls, like a recent one conducted by ABC in 2014, that show that 52% of Americans favor life in prison versus death, perhaps she might want to revise her position- this is especially apropos since most favoring the death penalty were Republicans- presumably a sector she would not poll well in. Meanwhile, Governor Martin has bravely made his position clear from the get-go.

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