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Column 103105 Brewer

Monday, October 31, 2005

The America’s Summit – A call for commitment

By Jerry Brewer

The Summit of the Americas, being held on November 4
and 5 in Mar del Plata, Argentina, is the time for truth,
a pledge for democracy, and a dedicated spirit with
backbone. A call to order for peace and justice, and the
unity of those who are part of the solution must be their
chief mandate.

Societies that are characterized by democracy,
solidarity, and equality, those with genuine respect for
human rights and dignity, must demonstrate leadership
and pave the way. The Argentine summit is the
opportunity for countries such as Mexico to enlist
serious help from their Central and South American
neighbors in fighting the war on violence, much of
which comes from the south.

This summit is critically important to our Western
Hemisphere, as well as the cooperation by members in
achieving much needed collective working alliances.
For while much attention has been diverted by events
in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, many Latin
American nations have suffered deepening poverty,
illiteracy, disaster, and senseless violence with so much
needless death.

Negative and destabilizing forces on this continent must
be vehemently rejected, and deep changes in global
society are urgently needed. There must be demands
for intense examination of the functioning of
international institutions, directly focused on initiatives
designed to produce positive results for humanity.

It has been suggested that Venezuela should be
pressured, and isolated as a destabilizing force. In
response, the government of President Hugo Chavez
rejected any and all allegations of Venezuelan links to
terrorist organizations, calling them “insidious.”

The time has come for hemispheric nations to hold
Chavez accountable for his words and actions. And
based on escalating charges of Chavez breeding
discontent and abusing human rights, as he capitalizes
on world inattention, this is an opportunity for the
Venezuelan president to address his peers who could
consequently judge his sincerity in face to face

President George W. Bush will attend his third summit.
As well, the U.S. has pledged to show resolve and
commitment towards safeguarding the sovereignty of
those nations that integrate into the Inter-American

Nations will be asked to reject those that violate
freedom of expression, and engage in a destabilizing
arms race. After all, world security is about identifying
risks, assigning them probabilities, and acting in a
concerted effort to reduce the probabilities.

Too often these gatherings of world leaders, who are
brought together for the sake of humanity, lose sight
and control of issues regarding human life, human
rights, unity in achievement, and other values. Instead
there are those who cast misleading blame on others,
setting out virtual traps laden with subterfuge.

So, all nations that become part of the true solution
must join hands and stand firm against others that
continue to be part of the ongoing problems.

Transnational eyes are already on next year’s
presidential election in Mexico, making it truly
important for the issue of drug cartel-related violence,
and the threats of terrorist infiltration, to be top
priorities of all candidates. Furthermore, the Mexican
people must insist on candidates setting clear and
focused platforms regarding these sinister threats, with
imperitive countermeasures.

The prolonged war among rival drug cartels, especially
along the U.S.-Mexico border, has resulted in nearly
1,000 deaths since the beginning of 2005. Too, many
of the murders were execution or guerrilla-type killings,
this in certain cases the result of ties with assassins and
paramilitary trained commandos filtering in from
Central and South America.

Latin American criminal organizations, as well as
Mexico’s Zetas (military trained enforcers), are also
present in U.S. cities like Dallas, San Antonio, and
Houston. The Zeta’s infiltration of the Dallas area has
been to consolidate control of the lucrative smuggling
route along I-35 in Texas, from Laredo to Dallas, for
Mexico’s Gulf Cartel.

Nuevo Laredo, across from its sister city of Laredo,
Texas, has for some time been caught in the middle of
a deadly war between drug cartels, and seen some of
the worst violence. This at a centrally located
transshipment point for goods sent from Mexico’s
manufacturing centers to the U.S. heartland. Last year
US$52 billion worth of goods crossed into the U.S. via
Nuevo Laredo.

Meanwhile, on the Texas side of the border Laredo
Mayor Elizabeth Flores is working valiantly to protect
and safeguard her city and its citizens, along with
border area business and tourism. But Americas-
shared drug threats, as they and their perpetrators
terrorize the public, make her job harder by the day as
they keep many business visitors, and even more
tourists, away.

Jerry Brewer, the Vice President of Criminal Justice
International Associates, a global risk mitigation firm
headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, is also a columnist
with He can be reached via e-mail at