Peña Nieto’s Visit to the Glass House

Enrique Peña Nieto is president of a North American country whose police officers have become the targets of public outcry for their role in the awful deaths of guiltless people. No, he isn’t president of the United States, of course. Yet critics seem to believe President Obama possesses even the narrowest sliver of ground from which condemn his Mexican counterpart’s record on human rights. He doesn’t.

I understand why people on both sides of Río Bravo wanted to see Peña Nieto receive a tongue-lashing from the leader of the free world during his visit to the White House on Tuesday, but that was never going to happen—not even in private.

Had Obama uttered the name Iguala —where 43 students disappeared after they were detained by local police this past September and handed over to cartel members— the devilishly debonair Peña Nieto would’ve countered with a passing reference to Ferguson, Beavercreek or Staten Island. As if I needed to remind anyone, in those three cases, which occurred within the span of a single month last year, the lives of unarmed black men were cut short at the hands of police officers.

Had Obama opted to discuss the failures of Mexico’s criminal justice system —which has preserved Mexico’s reputation as a land of rampant impunity and corruption— the pretty-boy PRI presidente could’ve mentioned the recent non-indictment verdicts in Missouri, Ohio and New York. There wasn’t even a trial; merely the pretense of justice.

And if Obama wanted to talk about military abuses and torture, he would’ve immediately been asked how his shuttering of Gitmo was coming along. It was only last month that the Senate released a report detailing just how sadistic (and ineffective) the CIA’s torture of detainees was during the Bush years. Obama could blame it all on his predecessor, but here we are, nearly six years into the Hope & Change of Obama’s presidency, and there are still prisoners (127 of them) being held at Gitmo, many of them having spent years in solitary confinement without so much as being charged with a crime. Plus, lest we forget, the prison at Guantanamo Bay is part of a U.S. naval base located in a foreign country whose government objects to any imperialistic presence, and whose leaders Washington has made its sworn enemy.

At the end of the day, through the Mérida Initiative —commonly known as “Plan Mexico”— the presidents of Mexico and the United States are both architects of the human rights abuses endemic to Mexico. Mexican military and police officers may be the perpetrators of countless assaults on the public peace, but the United States, which has provided hundreds of millions in funds to such actors, is undoubtedly their chief sponsor. Taking into account American dominance of the Mexican economy, the person occupying Los Pinos is no more to blame for Mexico’s dysfunction than the U.S. president, as Mexican institutions are more or less proxies for U.S. interests.

And must I get into the president’s liberal use of drones to deliver steely death from the skies on an untold number of innocent people across the Arab world?

President Obama may seem aloof, but he’s no fool. He’s smart enough to know a guy shouldn’t throw stones when he lives in a glass house—no matter what color it may be.


Hector Luis Alamo is a Chicago-based writer. You can connect with him @HectorLuisAlamo.

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rikimaru says:

The Talmud must not be regarded as an ordinary work, composed of twelve volumes; it posies absolutely no similarity to any other literary production, but forms, without any figure of speech, a world of its own, which must be judged by its peculiar laws.
The Talmud contains much that is frivolous of which it treats with great gravity and seriousness; it further reflects the various superstitious practices and views of its Persian (Babylonian) birthplace which presume the efficacy of demonical medicines, or magic, incantations, miraculous cures, and interpretations of dreams. It also contains isolated instances of uncharitable “ judgments and decrees against the members of other nations and religions, and finally it favors an incorrect exposition of the scriptures, accepting, as it does, tasteless misrepresentations.

The Babylonian” Talmud is especially distinguished from the Jerusalem or Palestine Talmud by the flights of thought, the penetration of mind, the flashes of genius, which rise and vanish again. It was for this reason that the Babylonian rather than the Jerusalem Talmud became the fundamental possession of the Jewish Race, its life breath, its very soul, nature and mankind, powers and events, were for the Jewish nation insignificant, non- essential, a mere phantom; the only true reality was the Talmud.” (Professor H. Graetz, History of the Jews).
And finally it came Spain’s turn. Persecution had occurred there on “ and off for over a century, and, after 1391, became almost incessant. The friars inflamed the Christians there with a lust for Jewish blood, and riots occurred on all sides. For the Jews it was simply a choice between baptism and death, and many of them submitted to baptism.
But almost always conversion on thee terms was only outward and false. Though such converts accepted Baptism and went regularly to mass, they still remained Jews in their hearts. They were called Marrano, ‘ Accursed Ones,’ and there were perhaps a hundred thousand of them. Often they possessed enormous wealth. Their daughters married into the noblest families, even into the blood royal, and their sons sometimes entered the Church and rose to the highest offices. It is said that even one of the popes was of this Marrano stock.