Obama has consequently instructed the Department of Justice along with the Department of Homeland Security to increase their efforts in combating the flow of weapons and drug-related violence that occurs along the 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexico border. [...] the Obama White House allocated more than $400 million towards surveillance technologies and border security, and deployed more than 500 federal agents along with drug-sniffing dogs and X-ray machines.
Briefs The Council Cuba on Hemispheric On April 13, White House officials announced changes in the U.S. policy towards Cuba during the first-ever bilingual briefing held there. In addition to eliminating all travel and Affairs remittance restrictions for Cuban Americans, the Obama administration announced that it will remove various restrictions related to telecommunications. This modification comes 1250 Connecticut Ave. NW roughly one year after Cuban President, Raúl Castro, lifted restrictions on the private owner- Suite 1C Washington, DC 20036 ship of mobile phones and other electronics. Dan Restrepo, a senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC), explained that the changes Volume 29 illustrate that the U.S. is getting, “out of the business of regulating the relationship between Cuban families.” He added that the Cuban government would be well advised to follow suit by removing heavy fees levied against remittances. Issue 7 Another motivation behind the policy change is Washington’s belief that U.S. telecommu- nications services will promote a free flow of information on an island, where the government April 26, 2009 heavily censors almost all forms of media. However, the degree to which these new freedoms will become a reality in Cuba depends on whether Raúl Castro will permit, “U.S. companies Washington Report on the Hemisphere to provide services on the island,” Restrepo explained. At least one factor that the Cuban © 2009 Published biweekly government will be largely unable to regulate will be the islanders’ use of cell phones that are (23 issues per year including index) by the paid for by relatives living in the U.S. Council on Hemispheric Affairs Research Associate Graeme Wood Peru phone: (202) 223-4975 On April 7, former Peruvian president, Alberto Fujimori, was sentenced to 25 years in fax: (202) 223-4979 prison for human rights violations which he committed during his tenure between 1990 and 2000. Fujimori, a Peruvian with Japanese descent, was found guilty of mass murder and e-mail: email@example.com kidnapping. The conviction comes as a landmark decision, since Fujimori is the only Latin issn: 1275-559 American leader to have been convicted for human rights violations in his own country. The Chairperson: Judith Chiara most significant charges against the former leader, are linked to two massacres of civilians by the Colina group, a paramilitary squad structured and commanded by Fujimori himself. In Editor-in-Chief: Larry Birns 1991, the Colina group opened fire on a crowd attending a barbecue in the Lima neighbor- hood of Barrios Altos, killing 15 people, including an 8-year-old boy. A year later, the renegade Managing Editor: Michael Ramirez group kidnapped and murdered nine students and one professor at La Cantuta University. In order to avoid facing charges of corruption in Peru, Fujimori fled to Japan in 2000. Dur- ing his presidency, he revived Peru’s political and economic climate, saving it from a total Assistant Managing Editor: David Rosenb
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