The week at a glance ... Americas
Newspaper pleads with gangs: A Juárez newspaper has offered to tailor its editorial policy to suit local drug gangs in exchange for the safety of its employees. In an editorial this week, El Diario said that the killing of two of its reporters in the past two years had “caused irreparable pain and suffering,” and it asked the gangs to “explain what it is that you want from us, what it is that you want us to publish or not publish,” so that we “don’t have to pay tribute with the lives of our co-workers.” A spokesman for President Felipe Calderón condemned the paper, saying no institution should negotiate with drug gangs.
Coca farmers protest: Hundreds of farmers capped 10 days of protests against the government’s crackdown on illegal coca cultivation this week by briefly taking over a U.S.-owned power plant. Power was disrupted before police stormed the Duke Energy plant in the regional capital of Pucallpa and arrested 120 cocaleros, as coca farmers are known. Peruvians have chewed coca leaves for thousands of years, and a small amount of coca cultivation is legal. But illegal coca farms run by drug traffickers have proliferated in recent years. This year, Peru overtook Colombia to become the world’s leading producer of coca leaf for the first time since the 1980s. Colombia remains the biggest source of processed cocaine.