Blood and Justice: Crisis in Michoacàn

Posted By John Miller, May 10, 2015

In 2011, the Knights Templar rose to be one of the strongest cartels in Mexico. Situated in Michoacán, one of Mexico’s western states, the Knights Templar maintained its power thanks to strongman Servando Gomez. Gomez, known as “La Tuta,” was the nation’s most wanted cartel leader until his arrest last month.[1] Federal police arrested Gomez and paraded him around Mexico City in an attempt to demonstrate the government’s strength and control over the states.[2] The cameras and journalists, however, only showed one side of the story. In Michoacán, vigilante groups, the self-proclaimed fuerzas autodefensas (self-defense forces), collaborated with federal and local police to fight the cartels and capture their leaders.[3] Now, in the aftermath of La Tuta’s capture, Mexico must solve the dilemma of integrating these vigilante groups productively into preexisting governmental institutions or face a challenge to its authority.       

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International Commercial Surrogacy: Thailand’s Recent Ban on Commercial Surrogacy for Foreigners

Posted By Katherine Lo, Apr 20, 2015

Due to advances in technology that allow for gestational surrogacy[1] and greater acceptance in public opinion, global surrogacy has achieved an unprecedented popularity.[2] Consequently, medical tourism, where consumers of health care travel around the world to receive cheaper medical care, now includes reproductive tourism.[3] Despite many countries’ prohibitions or restrictions on surrogacy arrangements, the market for international surrogacy has grown greatly, and international, or global, surrogacy is a booming business.[4]  

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When a Nation Decimates its Economy

Posted By Kyle Rose, Apr 20, 2015

Russia lost an estimated $120 billion due to international sanctions in 2014.[1] This is half of their budget.[2] Perhaps even worse with the oil crisis, Russia is effectively barred from international finance.[3] With these factors combined, Russia’s GDP will likely decrease by 10% in 2015.[4] Although Russia would have suffered from the oil prices regardless of its conduct in the Ukraine, the sanctions give great aggravation. Why would a state incur such cost for a quasi—war for little and uncertain gain?[5] 

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