Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán had long been a thorn in the side of the Mexican government. He made the Forbes list as one of the richest men in the world more than once, reportedly had operations in over 50 countries, and according to the US State Department, had long surpassed Pablo Escobar’s reach and influence with an untold number of corrupt officials at all levels of government working for him.
News and Politics
On January 31st, 2012, Chile passed a law changing the vote from compulsory to voluntary, while at the same time expanding the register, allowing every citizen over the age of 18 to vote automatically, without the need to be registered. This contrasted with the previous mechanism, a registration system that was voluntary, but once citizens were inside they were forced to vote in every election, albeit under a weak threat of a pecuniary sanction.
On February 25th, the United States ordered the removal of three Venezuelan diplomats the U.S. This action was in direct response to Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro’s decision on February 17th to expel three American diplomats for allegedly instigating the protests that have killed at least 13 people thus far.
Venezuela is an incredibly dynamic country. After several decades of stability, the country has been shaken by major political realignments, economic shifts and policy changes since El Caracazo took place in 1989. In that year, the population rose up violently in response to the government's economic reforms that included increases in the price of gasoline and transportation.
Claims of conspiracy and sabotage, ones all-too-familiar for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, resulted in the expulsion of three U.S. diplomats from Venezuela on February 16th. As might be expected, the decision was made after the U.S. State Department articulated its concerns over the perpetual discord throughout the nation, most evident in the February 12th protest that gained international attention. The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry was quick to issue a statement critiquing the U.S.
On February 12th Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez called on opponents of the socialist Venezuelan government to take to the streets and support student groups that had been protesting the overwhelming problem of violent crime in Tachira State the week before. Ever since protests have continued on an almost nationwide scale.