Global SITREP for Friday, 02 February 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Friday, 02 February 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Friday, 02 February 2024. 

  1. AMLO DEMANDS U.S. APOLOGY OVER CARTEL LINK ACCUSATIONS: Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) is demanding an apology from the U.S. government after a media report claimed links between him and Mexican cartels.
  • The article cited a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) report that claimed AMLO took money from cartels during his failed 2006 presidential campaign.
  • AMLO demanded a formal apology from the State Department and said he wanted U.S. President Joe Biden to investigate the matter.
  • Xóchitl Galvéz said it’s unfortunate that Mexico has a narco-president and encouraged AMLO to file a lawsuit against ProPulibica if the accusations weren’t true.

Why It MattersThis is somewhat comical because Mexican media outlets have long cited AMLO’s ties to Mexican cartels. AMLO may be concerned that the report hurts the chances of his successor, former Mexico City Governor Claudia Sheinbaum, winning this June’s presidential election due to the closeness of the two. AMLO has so far said the report and the lack of U.S. acknowledgement won’t derail continued high-level talks on border security and the immigration crisis with U.S. officials. Regardless, Sheinbaum is likely to win the election, cementing another six years of AMLO’s policies and far left Morena rule. – M.S.

  1. UN BEGINS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE NARRATIVE ON PHILIPPINES: United Nations Special Rapporteur Irene Khan is accusing the Philippines of “red tagging” and calling for an end to their anti-communist campaign.
  • Red tagging is a practice of accusing someone of being a communist or communist sympathizer.
  • The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) runs the anti-communist campaign in the Philippines.
  • “There is clear evidence that red-tagging and terror-tagging are being practiced by security forces as part of their counter-terrorism strategy,” Khan said. “The abolition will not only address some of the most critical drivers of red-tagging but also allow this administration to modernize peace-building approaches based on changing political events,” she added.

Why It Matters: The United Nations is building a case to accuse the Philippines of human rights abuses again. China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the leading Communist nation, could use this campaign to target the Philippines’ international standing and weaken its readiness for war. China may also try to use this to break up the growing Philippines-Vietnam alliance, though that is unlikely to succeed. – J.V.

  1. ARMENIA PM: WE MUST THINK ABOUT CLOSER TIES WITH U.S. AND FRANCE: Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced that “Armenia can no longer rely on Russia as its main defence and military partner because Moscow has repeatedly let it down, so Yerevan must think about forging closer ties with the United States and France.”
  • Pashinyan previously criticized Russia’s inability to guarantee Armenia’s defense in the context of the Ukraine war but called for a non-aligned and independent Armenia.

Why It Matters: Armenia is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Russia’s Central Asian equivalent of NATO. Armenia has long complained of inaction by both Russia and their CSTO allies in its ongoing border conflict with Azerbaijan. Armenian officials have also floated leaving CSTO altogether over a lack of support. – J.V.

THAT’S A WRAP: This does it for today’s edition. Thank you for reading. If you know folks who would also like to receive this email, would you please forward it to them? We appreciate you spreading the word. – M.S.

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