About Christopher Fee

Christopher Fee's Comments

How "The NAFTA Flu" Exploded
Apr 29 2009 - 6:17pm
National Criminal Justice Act of 2009
Mar 26 2009 - 2:33pm
Narcoterrorism in Mexico
Sep 26 2008 - 7:31pm
House Cleaning in Colombia
Mar 24 2008 - 8:21pm
What if Ingrid Betancourt had been in Ecuador Saturday?
Mar 8 2008 - 3:29am

IDUD 2008 - International Drug Users' Day to be Held in Copenhagen, Denmark

The Danish Drug Users’ Union BrugerForeningen will host this year's IDUD (International Drug Users’ Day) event on October 31 and November 1 in Copenhagen, Denmark. For more information about the event visit BrugerForeningen’s website.

Ecuadorians Overwhelming Vote in Favor of New Constitution

Ecuadorians went to the polls yesterday to decide on a new constitutional referendum; exit polls indicate that about 65% voted in favor of the new constitution. Unlike similar referendums passed in Bolivar and Venezuela the new constitution does not nationalize the nation’s resources, telecommunications, or electricity, but instead gives the executive branch increased powers to regulate the economy; though some opposed to the changes fear that the new centralized economic powers could potentially threaten private property rights in the future.

Pointing Fingers and Guns: Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela

Raul Reyes and Julian Conrado, both high ranking FARC commanders, were killed in Ecuador, Saturday March 1, after the Colombian Military entered Ecuadorian territory bombing and raiding Reyes' location. The information on Reyes encampment was apparently provided by informants. A 5 million dollar reward for the capture of Reyes was being offered by the U.S.; this may have played a major role in the raid.
“According to Noticias Uno, which based its report on official sources, the report was a ploy to force Reyes to use his satellite phone again, which he did, enabling the Colombian military to pinpoint his location. Another phone call made by Reyes indicated that he would be at a specific spot on Feb. 29, Noticias Uno reported. The government added that it also obtained information from two individuals, in exchange for large rewards.” - ISPNEWS.net
Tensions have continued to rise as both Ecuador and Venezuela are now sending troops to their borders with Colombia, while recalling Ambassadors from Bogota, and warning against further incursions. Colombia claims they were in pursuit of the rebels within 1,800 meters of their border, though Ecuador has claimed Colombian forces went as far as 10 kilometers inside Ecuadorian territory, and killed the rebel leaders and 18 others while they slept. Ecuadorian President Correa stated: “this was a massacre, not a hot pursuit.”

More en español: Video News from Colombia announcing the death of Raul Reyes, and video of Ecuador's President Correa condemning the military incursion violating Ecuador's sovereignty.

Amnesty International breaks its silence: Issues statement on Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine

Amnesty International finally broke its silence and released an official statement regarding leading human rights activist Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine who has been missing for four months in Haiti, and was the subject of Joe Emersberger's recent story here.

"Human rights activists have been trying to convince them for months," Emersberger's fellow HaitiAnalysis researcher and publisher Jeb Sprague tells Narco News. "But now just a few days after the Narco News piece they actually finally do something."

Coincidence? Readers can draw their own conclusions... Whether or not Human Rights Watch will follow with a statement of their own remains to be seen. For current information and news about Haiti read HaitiAnalysis.

Federal crack cocaine law may change after recent recommendation and ruling

The Drug Policy Alliance reported this past week that the U.S. Sentencing Commission in an unanimous vote recommended changes in the disparity between crack cocaine and powdered cocaine sentences; crack cocaine carries a sentence up to a hundred times greater than the same quantity of powered cocaine under current federal law. Also,  the U.S. Supreme Court, later in the week, ruled that federal judges may now sentence individuals below the mandatory minimum sentence in crack cocaine cases, though it will take an act of the U.S. Legislative branch to eliminate the law which has been in place for over 20 years. So, for the time being crack offenders will be at the mercy of judges in federal cases until Congress acts. So far, hearings are scheduled in the Senate for early 2008, but no hearings have been set for the House of Representatives on the issue.

Read more: Drug Policy Alliance

Ecuador: OPEC membership reinstated

This past week Ecuador was invited to rejoin the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)  after a 13 year absence from the organization; Ecuador had been a member for thirty years from 1963–1993. Ecuador's membership should be officially approved during the upcoming OPEC summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia this November 17 - 18. Even though Ecuador never left the organization it ceased making membership payments in 1992, but decided to reactivate its membership while negotiating contracts with private oil companies after a recent change in the nation's law gives the country a greater share of oil profits due to the rise in worldwide oil prices. According to Presna Latina earlier this year approval by Ecaudorian president, Rafael Correa, is all that is needed for reintegration. A three-year payment plan for unpaid dues amounting to almost six million U.S. dollars has also been agreed upon with OPEC member nations.

Ecuadorian President Correa vows not to extend lease for U.S. air base

According to Reuters-UK, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa vows not to extend the lease for the U.S. Military air base in Manta, Ecuador, which expires at the end of 2009 unless the U.S. allows for an Ecuadorian base in Miami. The base plays a major role in U.S. drug war operations under Plan Colombia, and is very unpopular among the Ecuadorian populace.

Ecuador and Politics, Outsider Looking In

I've been back from Ecuador for 14 days now, so I can't give a ground report on Quito at the moment; I will however try to explain an Ecuadorian view towards politics and politicians. Please, remember this is from a gringo outsider, so my interpretation will be colored by that fact.

Though, I can't comment directly on the Supreme Court issue, since I did not follow too much of the event when I was there. I was aware crowds where being tear gassed outside the court house, and when I left via Quito the court building was blocked off by the police and military.

Environmental Damage from Common Pharmaceuticals

More than just clandestine drug labs hidden in the jungles of South America may pollute the environment such as, the legal worldwide narco company Eli-Lilly, the makers of Prozac.  It appears one the world's most popular drugs to treat depression Prozac (fluoxetine) may have potentially negative environmental effects.  A report from the
UK's Telegraph
8-8-04 states Prozac has been found in Briton's water supply. An earlier report last year in the U.S. is even more disturbing; in an article by Scott Streater of the Star-Telgram 10-17-03, Prozac was found in fish brains, along with some alarming effects from other common pharmaceuticals.

An appeal, and a pledge for quadruple matching funds

Dear Narco News Readers,

I am writing this letter in the hope you will support The Fund for Authentic Journalism, a nonprofit corporation helping to support Narco News, a tri-lingual online newspaper, and its School of Authentic Journalism.

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