The week at a glance ... Americas
VancouverPot prince extradited: Canada’s self-proclaimed “Prince of Pot” has lost his five-year battle against extradition to the U.S. for drug dealing. Marc Emery, the 51-year-old president of the British Columbia Marijuana Party, was arrested in 2005 for selling marijuana seeds by mail to U.S. residents. To avoid a potential 20-year prison term, Emery agreed to a plea bargain and will spend five years in jail, initially in the U.S., but with the possibility of transfer to a Canadian prison. “I think of myself as a great Canadian,” Emery said. “I’m proud of what I’ve done, and I have no regrets. I have the support of hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of Canadians.” Marijuana use is illegal in Canada, but it is rarely prosecuted.
Mexico CityInformers in the government: Mexico’s biggest drug cartel has access to top-secret law-enforcement information, including documents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Reforma newspaper reported this week. In a drug bust that netted a top member of the Sinaloa cartel last year, police found documents outlining intelligence the DEA had given the Mexican government, as well as a list of police commanders on the cartel’s payroll, the newspaper said. The discovery comes in the wake of a widespread corruption investigation, known as Operation Clean House, which found that top Mexican officials were collaborating with drug lords. “Operation Clean House was a warning that something wasn’t working,” said analyst Jorge Chabat, “and this confirms that it still isn’t working.”
Guantánamo Bay, CubaPentagon bars reporters: The Pentagon has banned four reporters from covering military hearings at the Guantánamo detention center because they revealed the name of a witness. The Pentagon says identifying witnesses is a violation of agreed-upon ground rules. But the interrogator’s identity had already been disclosed in previous news reports, leading the American Civil Liberties Union to call the reporters’ banishment “absurd and draconian.” The witness, a former U.S. interrogator, was testifying at the trial of a Canadian detainee, Omar Khadr, who was 15 when he was caught in Afghanistan, eight years ago. He claims he was abused during his interrogation. The news organizations—McClatchy, the Toronto Star, the Toronto Globe and Mail and CanWest Newspapers of Canada—are appealing the Pentagon’s decision.