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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Enrique Peña Nieto Calls Arizona's Immigration Law "Discriminatory", Seeks New Debate On Drug War

Mexican President-Elect Tells Fareed Zakaria: Solution To AZ Law Is Fixing Mexican Economy

Mexican President-Elect Enrique Peña Nieto spoke to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria this week for an interview airing tomorrow, and in a preview released today, Peña Nieto reacts to our Supreme Court upholding parts of Arizona’s controversial SB-1070 law.

While calling the law “discriminatory,” he acknowledged that the solution was making immigration “a decision and not a necessity for Mexicans.”

Zakaria asked Peña Nieto to respond to the Arizona law and explain how, as president of Mexico, his administration would address the immigration problem, particularly the criminal side of it.

He called the law “discriminatory” and argued that said laws “do not recognize the contribution and the value of millions of immigrants” to the American economy.

He added, however, that as President of Mexico, “I understand that Mexico must facilitate conditions for greater economic development through structural reforms, treasury reform, labor reform… in order to generate jobs and great opportunities in our culture.”

The bottom line for him was to make “immigration a decision and not a necessity for Mexicans.”

Mexico's Peña Nieto calls for 'new debate' on the drug war

Mexico's Enrique Peña Nieto called for a "new debate" on the drug war and said the United States must play an important role in that discussion.

The presumptive president-elect spoke this week to Fareed Zakaria in an interviewing airing on this week's "Fareed Zakaria GPS."

"Yes, I do believe we should open up a new debate regarding how to wage war on drug trafficking. Personally, I'm not in favor of legalizing drugs. I'm not persuaded by that as an argument.

However, let's open up a new debate, a review, in which the U.S. plays a fundamental role in conducting this review," said Peña Nieto.

More than 47,500 people have died in drug-related violence since Felipe Calderon, Mexico's current president, made combating cartels a top priority when he took office in 2006.

Peña Nieto has pledged to focus more on reducing violence and less on catching cartel leaders and blocking drugs from reaching the United States.

"What we seek now in our new strategy is to adjust what's been done up until now. It's not a radical change.

It's to broaden the coverage and above all, the emphasis I aspire to of reducing the violence in our country," he told Zakaria.

"I'm persuaded that if we achieve the specialization in the work carried out by the various branches of the federal police and the inspector general's office, waging war on impunity will allow us to combat crime," he said.

The presumptive president-elect also weighed in on Arizona's immigration law, which allows police to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws if "reasonable suspicion" exists that the person is in the United States illegally.

The controversial provision was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

It struck down other parts of the law.

"Clearly, it seems to me that these are discriminatory laws that don't recognize the contribution and the value of millions of immigrants, particularly from my country, who make enormous contributions to the United States' economic development.

It's clear to me that Mexico must facilitate conditions for greater economic development through structural reforms, energy reforms, treasury reform, labor reform, in order to generate jobs and greater opportunities in my country, so that immigration is a decision and not a necessity for Mexicans," he said.

An official tally of returns Friday confirmed Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, as the winner of Mexico's presidential election.

But until the country's electoral tribunal ratifies the results - and challenges are virtually assured - he remains the presumptive president-elect.

Peña Nieto's closest rival, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has vowed to challenge the results, accusing the PRI of vote-buying, and said that he would take his complaints through the legal system.

The federal electoral tribunal, known as TRIFE, will begin to accept complaints Monday of voting irregularities.

The tribunal will have until September 6 to complete its investigation and ratify - or reverse - the official election results.

The new president will be sworn in December 1.

Police in Arizona arrest 20, dismantle drug trafficking cell of Sinaloa Cartel

Authorities in Tempe, Arizona, dismantled a drug trafficking cell associated with Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, arresting 20 people and seizing three tons of marijuana, 30 pounds of methamphetamine and $2.4 million in cash, police said.

A six-month investigation by Tempe police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency also concluded with the seizure of an airplane, 10 vehicles and 14 firearms, police said Friday.

The cartel delivered illegal drugs in Tempe and branched out to customers in New York, Alabama, California and other states, police said.

"This operation demonstrated a collaborative effort by state and federal law enforcement agencies," Tempe Chief of Police Tom Ryff said in a statement.

The drug trafficking "stretched across the Mexico border and into Arizona and beyond," said Doug Coleman, special agent in charge of the DEA's Phoenix office.

The Sinaloa Cartel is one of Mexico's most powerful drug-trafficking groups, and cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera is widely known as Mexico's most-wanted fugitive.

Forbes magazine has placed him on its list of the world's most powerful people, reporting his net worth at $1 billion as of March.

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Sources: CNN, Mediaite, Google Maps

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