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July 2015 ~ Volume 1 ~ Issue 2



Editorial Board GENERAL COORDINATION/ PROJECT LEADER/ EDITOR Raúl Ruiz Solís: (Student of International Relations) CONTENT REVIEWERS Arvin Rabin Dranak Soto, Ma Tatiana Revilla Solís, Phd CONTRIBUTORS Naomi Salas Nava: (Student of International Relations) Zaire Vargas Díaz: (Student of International Relations) Susana Ventura Rivera: (Student of International Relations) Raúl Ruiz Solís: (Student of International Relations) STYLE REVIEWER Yara Olguín Manzanal, MSc COVER DESIGN Oscar Hernández Briones TRANSLATIONS Raúl Ruiz Solís Yara Olguín Manzanal, MSc

About We are pleased to present the second issue of “Global Affairs Mexico” an academic magazine concieved and written by International Relations students with the aim of trying to make more understandable, the different global issues currently present in the international arena, by promoting political, economic and diplomatic investigation, as well as critical analysis. As editor I wish to thank Mrs. Irina Bokova, Mr. Mark Aspinwall and Mr. Nayef Al-Rodhan for their invaluable contribution to this second issue of our magazine, as well as Mrs. Snezhana Manoilova and Ms. Alexandra Peters, for their support facilitating every available resource. Little by little, this dear project of ours is growing. Hopefully, we will keep on learning and improving. Thank you for reading. Raúl Ruiz Solís



Table of Contents “UNESCO in the face of global challenges”

© UNESCO/M.Ravassard

Interview: Mrs. Irina Bokova. Director-General of UNESCO.

Table of Contents “Future challenges for Global Security�

Interview: Mr. Nayef Al-Rodhan Senior Fellow and Programme Director of the Geopolitics and Global Futures Programme at the Geneva Center for Security Policy, Geneva, Switzerland.



Table of Contents “NAFTA and mexican politics”

Interview: Mr. Mark Aspinwall. Professor/Investigator from the University of Edinburgh at CIDE (México).

Table of Contents

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UNESCO in the face of global challenges. Interview with Irina Bokova Raúl Ruiz Solís Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew: 50 years of independence. Susana Ventura Rivera Future Challenges for Global Security. Interview with Nayef Al-Rodhan Raúl Ruiz Solís

The African Che Guevara. Naomi Salas Nava

NAFTA and mexican politics. Interview with Mark Aspinwall Raúl Ruiz Solís

Mexico: the migration trinity. Raúl Ruiz Solís

The Wall of Berlin: 25 years after. Zaire Vargas Diaz







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Volume 1 ~ Issue 2

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Academic project with no commercial purposes. The information here presented may be quoted or reproduced, only with academic purposes, but credit must be given to the author. Reproduction with commercial purposes is therefore forbidden. The views and content here presented are responsibility of its authors.

UNESCO in the face of global challenges Interview with Irina Bokova

By Raúl Ruiz Solís More about Irina Bokova... Irina Bokova, born on 12 July 1952 in Sofia (Bulgaria) has been the Director-General of UNESCO since 15 November 2009, and reelected for a second term in 2013. She is the first woman to lead the Organization. Having graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and studied at the University of Maryland (Washington) and the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University), Irina Bokova joined the United Nations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria in 1977. Appointed in charge of political and legal affairs at the Permanent Mission of Bulgaria to the United Nations in New York, she was also a member of the Bulgarian Delegation at the United Nations conferences on the equality of women in Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985) and Beijing (1995). As Member of Parliament (1990-1991 and 2001-2005), she participated in the drafting of Bulgaria’s new Constitution, which contributed significantly to the country’s accession to the European Union. Irina Bokova was Minister for Foreign Affairs, Coordinator of Bulgaria-European Union relations and Ambassador of Bulgaria to France, Monaco and UNESCO and Personal Representative of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria to the “Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie” (OIF). As Secretary of State for European integration and as Foreign Minister, Irina Bokova has always advocated for European integration. Irina Bokova has received state distinctions from countries across the world and is Doctor honoris causa of leading universities.In addition to her mother tongue, she speaks English, French, Spanish and Russian.


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Mrs. Irina Bokova, you have been Director-General of UNESCO since 15 November 2009, and then you were reelected for a second term in 2013. In six years of experience in office as head of UNESCO, How would you evaluate the importance of this organization for our world?

A Since its founding in 1945, UNES-

CO has been working across the world to promote peace, founded on equality, dignity and respect. For 70 years now, the Organization has supported societies striving for tolerance, democracy and dialogue. To these ends, it advances the cause of quality education for all, ensures the safeguarding of cultural heritage, promotes freedom of expression, and seeks to harness scientific cooperation for the benefit of all. This is an agenda for strengthening humanity as a single community, for protecting the world as one. In the year of its 70th anniversary, I believe the mandate of UNESCO has never been so relevant.


As UNESCO’s Director-General and as the first women to be the head of this organization, do you have any priorities when it comes to the global needs that UNESCO helps solving?

A Human dignity today is inextricably linked to human development and to poverty alleviation. This must be the focus of the new global sustainable agenda to follow 2015. This is where UNESCO’s mission takes on its full significance. Investing in quality education, culture, science and communication is essential to construct more sustainable and inclusive societies. For this, I have made Gender equality my priority – especially the empowerment of girls and women through education. In 2011, I launched together with then US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton the Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education to mobilize partners, particularly among the private sector, to invest in girls’ education, to reach the unreached, to harness the full power of ICTs, and to break down the barriers to girls’ education.


In a highly dynamic world like ours, how does UNESCO cope with the changing global needs? Does it constantly reform its inner structure and its objectives?

A UNESCO was founded after the Sec-

ond World War, in order to develop the conditions for peace through intellectual cooperation among societies. Even if we

UNESCO in the face of global challenges

face today new challenges and threats, our mandate has not aged a day… To fight violence and extremism, we work to raise high again the flag of solidarity, to build peace through education, through the dialogue of cultures, through mutual understanding on the basis of human rights and dignity. In the conditions of climate change, we work to unleash the full power of human ingenuity, human creativity through the use of sciences and communication. To succeed, our structures and work are being constantly reviewed and restructured to better respond to these issues and the priorities of our Member States, but our mission remains unchanged.


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How does UNESCO help to strengthen countries’ national policies, so that they can have better responses to educational, scientific and cultural needs? Could you please give us a brief example?


and adopt measures to introduce free and compulsory education. This was the case in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan. The lives of more than two million children under the age of five were saved between 1990 and 2009 thanks to improved education of women of reproductive age. But we know that there still remains a lot to do.

UNESCO, at the request of Member States, provides support for policies on education, culture, the sciences and communication, contributing to the development of guidelines for their formulation, review and reform as well as to the capacity building of professionals on the ground. We have, for example, helped Member States make considerable progress in reaching the Education for All goals in the last decades. Across the world, Ministers of Education increase domestic financing for education,

This is why the United Nations system is shaping a new agenda for development for the next 15 years, with education at its heart. The World Education Forum held in Incheon, Republic of Korea in May, adopted a transformative vision for education over the next 15 years. Government ministers from more than 100 countries, non-governmental organizations and youth groups approved the Incheon Declaration which encourages countries to provide inclusive, equitable, quality education and life-long learning opportunities for all. The Declaration will underpin the education targets in the Sustainable Development Goals that will be ratified at the United Nations in September.


In May 15 of 2013, at the Hangzhou Congress, you said: “The power of culture must be recognized as a pillar for sustainable development (…)”. Could you please explain the link between culture and development?

A The Hangzhou Congress was a key step in UNESCO’S advocacy to



UNESCO in the face of global challenges

integrate culture into sustainable development strategies, as the international community shapes a new global agenda for sustainable development after 2015. Culture is important for social inclusion and poverty eradication, for sustainable economic growth and job creation, for economic resilience and sustainable use of resources, as well as sustainable tourism.


Another topic I would like to talk about is Cultural Heritage. The number of World Heritage Sites has surprisingly increased. How does UNESCO manage to preserve this huge amount of sites? And what role do governments play in the preservation measures?

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Culture is essential to quality education, to sustainable urban development and to greater environmental sustainability through local and traditional knowledge, as well as to gender equality. We have seen this in Borobudur, Indonesia, a World Heritage Site, after the eruption of Mount Merapi in 2010, when the recovery of the temple has shown how heritage can revitalize the local economy and restore confidence and pride in local communities. Thanks to our advocacy, the international community has acknowledged the role of culture in sustainable development and the need to design development strategies that are sensitive to the cultural specificities of peoples. As a result, the United Nations General Assembly adopted three Resolutions in the past two years, which recognized the role of culture for development and requested concrete targets and examples on how to take this potential fully and effectively into account.


Cultural heritage bears deep symbolic meaning. We have seen its fragility in conflict situations and natural disasters which pose many challenges for its protection and preservation. Not a single country, however powerful, can tackle these challenges alone. UNESCO’s role is to support States and societies in sharing practices, joining efforts and advancing better ways to protect what we hold in common. The World Heritage Convention is a model of international cooperation. It was born out of the understanding that some places hold a universal value that transcends the boundaries of history and culture and which we must protect together, as our common heritage. The underlying idea was to encourage international cooperation in the protection of the world’s natural and historical sites for the present and the future generations. In the 1960s, in the desert of Egypt, UNESCO helped rebuild entire temples, stone by stone, because people across the world felt dutybound to protect them as if their own.

UNESCO in the face of global challenges

At that time, many people thought they had to choose between culture and development, between flourishing crops and the traces of a glorious history. UNESCO has shown we can have both. UNESCO has carried this message for more than 40 years. Along the way, we have built strong partnerships with civil society and the private sector. We have designed new ways to protect sites and involve local communities, including indigenous communities and youth.

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The Convention has reached almost universal membership, and more than a thousand sites have been inscribed. Today, our greatest challenge is no longer only to save natural and historical sites – it is to respond to the pressures of climate change, rapid urbanization and mass tourism, economic development and natural disasters. We must invent and forge new alliances and funding models, new management approaches, we need to share best practices.


Never before in recent history have we seen such a brutal and systematic destruction of cultural heritage, used as a tactic of war, to intimidate populations, to disseminate hatred. This is part of a strategy to destabilize and manipulate populations, to destroy their national identity and thus assure their own domination – this is what I call cultural cleansing.

In the past months, tensions in the Middle East caused by ISIS have spread, leading to the destruction of valuable cultural heritage in Mosul, Tikrit and other areas of Iraq. Hostilities in Palmyra, Syria are also a disturbing reality. As UNESCO’s Director-General, what do you think of this “cultural cleansing”? And in your opinion, what measures could be taken in order to halt cultural losses?

This is a war crime, such as the destruction of cultural heritage in Mali, Syria, or Afghanistan. These are attacks against the very notion of a civilized order, against the humanity we share, against the values that bind us together as a single human family. On 28 May, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on “Saving the cultural heritage of Iraq” presented by Germany and Iraq and co-sponsored by 91 Member States. This marked a turning point in the mobilization of the international community against the destruction of cultural heritage, the looting of antiquities, the persecution of minorities, and cultural cleansing in Iraq. This resolution resonates deeply with UNESCO’s mandate and calls on us to review the means by which we seek to defeat violent extremism. This resolution is a resounding message: cultural heritage is not just collateral damage; it is the deliberate destruction is a war crime, and an integral part of the humanitarian and security crisis.



UNESCO in the face of global challenges

The resolution reflects a commitment to action, with strong proposals to stop the financing of terrorism, countering the ideology of hatred, curb illegal traffic. It complements Resolution 2199 of the UN Security Council of 12 February on the financing of terrorism which clearly recognized that the pillage, destruction and trafficking of cultural heritage are more than a cultural tragedy – this is also a security and political imperative to be taken into account in all peace efforts.


We also believe that technology will bridge the gap in the exchange of scientific ideas to build more efficient and sustainable systems to combat climate change and natural disasters.

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Education, culture, science, all these are vital elements for the development of mankind. To conclude, in your opinion, what is the future of UNESCO? Bearing in mind the changing global trends and the current status of education, science and culture worldwide. The role of UNESCO and of all UN specialised agencies becomes more important under the post-2015 agenda, because they are universal, just like the Sustainable Development Goals.

We believe that universal access to knowledge, freedom of expression and quality education will play a fundamental role in increasing the quality of life and improving mutual understanding to foster more open and inclusive societies. Our hope is that culture will be defined only by the willingness to learn and the openness to exchange ideas.

Volume 1~Issue 2 Asia

Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew: 50 years of independence


Susana Ventura Rivera Abstract

Singapore will be celebreting its 50 years of independence, on November of this same year. This article seeks to analyze the past of Singapore and its current status, concerning different fields: economy, politics and society. Singapore has become a place of great importance in Southeast Asia because it is one of the four world financial centers and it´s one of the most important commercial centers of the world.



Translated to English from its original version in Spanish.


he Republic of Singapore is a city-state located in Southeast Asia; it is also the smallest country in the region. However, its size has not been an obstacle for the nation to develop itself; the International Monetary Fund (IMF) catalogued Singapore’s economy as an advanced one, and according to the classification Doing Business 2015 (Business, 2015) Singapore´s economy is the most favorable for business activity in the world. Since Singapore does not have enough natural resources, it has always sought other options; the port of Singapore is considered as one of the most important ports in the world and it currently occupies the second place of the world, concerning the movement and storage of containers; on the other hand, Singapore also has the International Airport of Changi, one of the best airports worldwide due to its facilities and services. Singapore will celebrate this August 9th the 50 years of its independence.

It is admirable how in only 50 years, the country has managed to overcome the postcolonial effects. Among all this development and growth, we can highlight one person: Lee Kuan Yew, who contributed greatly to Singapore’s growth and passed out this year. He is considered as the “father of the nation”.

A GLANCE OF HISTORY In 1829, Sir Stamford Raffles an envoy of the British government, managed to convince the Sultanate of Johor1 , to allow the establishment of a trade center. 1829 is considered as the date of birth of modern Singapore. It was until 1824 that Singapore was granted to the British. Due to its strategic and commercial importance, many subsidiaries of European companies and merchants started establishing in Singapore. Its growth continued, as well as the population’s demands, due to sanitary and security conditions, that were not being adequately addressed by the British administration. The War of the Pacific (1937-1945), interrupted Singapore’s growth; on February 15th of 1942, the island was overtaken by Japanese forces, the latter due to a shortage of British troops that were fighting in Europe. When Japan surrendered in 1945, the national movement in Singapore was more than ready to face the return of

The Sultanate of Johor was founded by the Sultan of Malacca, Riayat Alauddin Shah II, in 1528. In 1946 it became part of the Malayan Union. Two years later, he joined the Federation of Malaya,-which replaced the Malayan Union- and in 1963 it became part of the current Federation of Malaysia. 1

any old colonial power (Lucien, 1991). Nationalist movements were significantly strengthened after the Japanese occupation, when Singapore faced food shortages, unemployment, violence and different diseases; however, the country’s independence was still far away.

It was not until August 9th, 1965 that Singapore was declared completely independent, after quitting the Federation, Singapore then chose to be a parliamentary republic.

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In fact, the reforms would begin until 1955. That year a legislative assembly was created, formed of 32 members, 25 of them were appointed by election; a council of ministers was established, formed of nine members, six of them were elected by a parliamentary majority; the British governor kept his right of veto and his right to suspend the constitution. In March of 1957, a deal with London was finally at hand. Great Britain recognized the autonomy of Singapore, whose nominal head would be Malayan; he would be in charge of the foreign affairs and the defense, while internal security would be handled by a Security Council, formed of seven members: three British, three Singaporean ministers and one representative of the Federation.2 The Assembly later had 51 members, from that moment on they were all elected by universal suffrage. In the elections of May 31st of 1959, the PAP3 achieved a great victory. Its leader, Lee Kuan Yew, young Chinese attorney born in Singapore and academically-raised in Cambridge, became Prime Minister. On June 3rd, 1959 the State of Singapore was officially born (Lucien, 1991).

Lee Kuan Yew’s government in order to achieve social balance, provided education, health, houses and social wellbeing (Gracia Temoltzin, 2006). The population of Singapore, formed of different cultures like the British, Malayan, Indian and Chinese, boosted the creation of the Presidential Council of Minorities that sought to end ethnic discriminations in the country, as well as to reduce tensions between ethnic groups (Gracia Temoltzin, 2006). In order to boost economy, Lee implemented the Industrialization Policy oriented to Exportation (IOE), and eliminated unions in order to guarantee cheap manpower; the latter attracted more foreign capital and helped activating the national industry (Crespo, 2006). To achieve political stability Lee Kuan Yew implemented the so called “de-politicization and de-ideologization policies for the society”, decision making processes had an administrative and not a political nature. Corruption was also greatly diminished (Jimenez Posada & Gomez Gomez, 2014). Lee Kuan Yew was the Prime Minister from 1959 to 1990, during that time he

On September 16, 1963, the Malayan Federation, the State of Singapore and the newly independent British colonies of Sarawak and Sabah merged to form the Federation of Malaysia. 3People’s Action Party 2



managed to transform the little island in one of the wealthiest and least corrupt countries in Asia. After he abandoned the position of Prime Minister, he kept on participating in Singaporean politics as “Minister Mentor”, which was a lifetime appointment, he decided to retire in 2011 and his son Lee Hsien Loong is the current Prime Minister:

the country has held with its closest neighbors, Malaysia and Indonesia; relations that several times, since the independence have gone through tension and conflicts. However, in the recent years and despite some people are against this, a new stage of understanding and cooperation with these two countries has been opened (Government of Spain: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation).

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In order to understand Singapore and why it is as it is, we must start from the fact that it’s supposed Singapore shouldn’t exist and that it can’t exist”, said Lee Kuan Yew in a 2007 interview. “To begin with, we do not have the ingredients of a nation, or its fundamental elements: we do not have a homogenous population, nor a same language, culture or destiny. But history is a long process. I did my small part -Lee Kuan Yew (Mydans, 2015).


Singapore holds diplomatic relations with 175 countries; it is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The country also belongs to other regional organizations, like the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) and the East Asia Summit. It is also member of the NonAligned Movement (Country Facts). In the bilateral field, Singapore’s most important relations have been the ones

Singapore participates as a member of ASEAN in different events and in different collaboration schemes established with the European Union to strengthen the relations between the two regions, particularly through the ASEM (Asia Europe Meeting). Singapore is the main host of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) (Government of Spain: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation). Singapore and the United States share a long and strong relation, mainly concerning topics like defense, economy, health and education. The United States were Singapore´s third biggest trade partner in 2010 after the European Union and China (Country Facts). Singapore’s economy is sound: the current accounts are on a high surplus and the country has significant foreign exchange reserves with zero external debt. The country also benefits from a large margin to increase spending on social services and to provide financial help to local businesses. The Govern-

ment’s priority is to ensure quality growth and build a more inclusive society. In order to maintain its competitive position despite rising wages, the Government seeks to promote activities with higher added value (such as biotechnology, research and development and pharmaceutical products) in the manufacturing and services sectors (Santander Trade, 2015).

Among the products exported by Singapore we can find informatics equipment, telecommunications equipment and products made of petroleum. Although the country does not have oil reserves of its own, it has one of the biggest refineries in Asia. During 2012, both the technological and pharmaceutical industries received great investment.

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Moving across Singapore can be done in a secure and efficient way, the country has different means of transport that cover the whole island, and among them we can find “The Mass Rapid Transit” (MRT) and the “Light Rail Transit” (LRT), buses and taxicabs.

Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database Last Available Data. In (Santander Trade). Note: (e) Estimated Data

Singapore’s prices are stable and its GDP is one of the biggest ones in the world. Singapore along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan form the group of countries called “The Four Asian Tigers”.4 Singapore’s main economic areas are: trade, transports and communications, as well as businesses and financial services. Singapore’s main trade partners are: Malaysia (17,4%), United States (15.3%), Hong Kong (9.2%), Japan (7,1%), China (5,5%), Taiwan(4,9%), Thailand (4.6%) and South Korea (4,2%) (Garza).

Taxicabs are a common mean of transport, for rates are cheaper, compared to other developed countries. If we talk about communication, Singapore has 1.600 electronic services and a broadband that gives access to internet to 99% of the citizens. Currently, the country plans to become the first “smart nation”: Singapore revealed that it plans to become the first smart nation in the world. To achieve it, the eastern country will deploy a network of control devices interconnected by an optic fiber network that will allow operating sensors to detect air and rain pollutants, traffic jams,

Called that way because of their quick economic development.




,people who throw garbage or even in what shape trash cans at streets are in. These devices will be as abundant as traffic lights or as bus stops (Jimenez, 2014).

topics are constantly criticized by the International Community:

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Singapore is one of the best countries to do business in Asia, due to the fact that it probably is the least bureaucratic country on the continent; registering an enterprise doesn’t take that long, which also helps to the establishment of new enterprises, plus, investors are offered protection and the effective fulfillment of contracts. Favorable tax regimes and skilled workforce make Singapore an attractive destination for business and investment. Singapore tops the list of the most favorable economies for entrepreneurship in the world, according to “Doing Business 2015” ranking of the World Bank Group. It was Lee Kuan Yew, who transformed Singapore into one of the most important financial centers worldwide:

Tourism is the third biggest industry, after the banking and production industry. Attracting more than seven million visitors every year, Singapore is one of the few countries that can attract a number of visitors that is actually bigger than its own population (Mokrova, 2006). However, not everything is perfect in developed countries; Singapore has severe issues concerning human rights, death penalty, corporal punishment and limits imposed to freedom of speech, those

Today, those practices were highly criticized by Human Rights Watch, an organization that remembered: “The tremendous role of Lee in the economic development is out of question, but that was achieved at the expense of human rights, we can see it in the current restrictions to freedom of expression, self-censorship and a damaged multiparty democracy; a heritage that Singapore now needs to overcome (Prieto, 2015).

During Lee’s management, restrictions were imposed to freedom of expression and assembly; the objective was to achieve political stability, which was necessary to encourage inward investment and trade abroad. He also imprisoned political opponents without trial and filed libel suits against journalists and political opponents: “I had to do some nasty things, imprison people without trial” Lee declares in an interview with The New York Times, published in September of 2010. “I am not saying that all I did was correct. However, all I did had an honorable purpose”.

The country is ranked in the 150th place of the list of Reporters without Borders 2014, concerning the Press Freedom Index and placing Singapore right above

the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico and Iraq (CNN, 2015).

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The growth of Singapore in the last 50 years has been incredible, the economic and multicultural integration topics are great, they have managed to unify a highly multicultural population; everyone is treated equally and the economy keeps on growing, although, when we talk about human rights, not everything is positive. Freedom of speech and other issues should be discussed, for the new generation of people in Singapore demand to participate and to be taken into account, if the government does not take that into account, the events that occurred in the 80’s could easily happen again (brain leaks, due to lack of rights and freedom, among other social protests).




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* Amnistía Internacional. 2015. Informe 2014/15 Amnistía internacional la situación de los derechos Humanos en el mundo. Retrieved the 20 of June, 2015. From: http:// * Banco Mundial, 2014, En la clasificación Doing Business 2015, se amplían los datos para expandir el análisis. Retrieved the 15 of June, 2015. From: * Bianco, Lucien, Asia contemporánea, Historia Universal Siglo XXI, México D.F., 1991. * Capítulo 3. Las ventajas del autoritarismo como modelo de transición. Retrieved the 20 of June, 2015. From: gracia_t_o/capitulo3.pdf * CNN. Muere a los 91 años Lee Kuan Yew, fundador del nuevo Singapur. Retrieved the 20 of June, 2015. From: * Country Facts. Singapur Relaciones Exteriores. Retrieved the 22 of June, 2015. From: * 2015. Cómo la mano dura de Lee Kuan Yew convirtió a Singapur en un selecto centro financiero. Retrieved the 20 of June, 2015. From: http://www.emol. com/noticias/economia/2015/03/23/709302/como-la-mano-dura-lee-kuan-yew-convirtio-a-singapur-en-un-selecto-centro-financiero.html * Estudios de política exterior. 2015. Singapur y el camino del éxito. Retrieved the 20 of June, 2015. From: * Gobierno de España: Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y Cooperación. Ficha País: Singapur. Retrieved the 23 of June, 2015. From: * G. Prieto, Mónica. 2015. Muere Lee Kuan Yew a los 91 años, el fundador del Singapur moderno. Retrieved the 17 of June, 2015. From: acional/2015/03/23/550f9a38268e3e3b698b456b.html * Garza, Mariana. Ficha técnica del Comercio en Singapur. Retrieved the 17 of June, 2015. From: 1.comercioinversiones.ficha.html


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* Gómez Gómez, Laura, Jiménez Posada, Mateo. Singapur: de un país inviable, a un modelo mundial. Retrieved the 14 of June, 2015. From: co/index.php/map/article/view/2486singapur-quiere-ser-la-primera-naci%C3%B3ninteligente-del-150300506.html * Guía de Singapur, Un poco de historia. Retrieved the 15 of June, 2015. From: http:// * Jiménez, Roberto. 2014. Singapur quiere ser la primera nación inteligente del mundo. Retrieved the 17 of June, 2015. From:* Mokrova, Marija. Turismo. Retrieved the 17 of June, 2015. From: * Vidal Liy, Macarena. 2015. Singapur despide a su ‘padre’ Lee Kuan Yew y a toda una era. Retrieved the 17 of June, 2015. From: * Ramos Crespo, Juan Carlos. Política Comercial. Retrieved the 15 of June, 2015. From: * Santander Trade. Singapur: Política y economía. Retrieved the 15 of June, 2015. From: choix=memoriser



Future challenges for Global Security Interview with Nayef Al-Rodhan

By Raúl Ruiz Solís

More about Nayef Al-Rodhan... Nayef Al-Rodhan began his career as a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist. As a medical student, he was mentored and influenced by the renowned neurologist, Lord John Walton of Detchant. He trained in neurosurgery and conducted neuroscience research at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota in the United States. He became Chief Resident in neurosurgery and was influenced by Thoralf M. Sundt, David Piepgrass, and Patrick J Kelly at the Mayo Clinic. He obtained a Ph.D. in 1988 for his work on the Characterization of Opioid and Neurotensin Receptor Subtypes in the Brain with Respect to Antinociception.. Since 2002, Nayef Al-Rodhan has shifted his scholarly focus to the interplay between neuroscience and international relations. Through several publications, he has pioneered the application of neuroscience and the neuro-behavioural consequences of the neurochemical and cellular mechanisms that underpin emotions, amorality, egoism, fear, greed, and dominance, into the analysis and conceptualization of trends in contemporary geopolitics, global security, national security, transcultural security, and war and peace. In 2006, Nayef Al-Rodhan joined the Geneva Center for Security Policy in Geneva, Switzerland, as a Senior Scholar in geostrategy and Director of the Geopolitics and Global Futures Programme. In 2009, Al-Rodhan became a Senior Member of St. Antony’s College, Oxford University where he analyses, amongst other things, critical turning points in the Arab-Islamic world and their current and future regional and global geopolitical relevance. His current geostrategy interests include: Geopolitics of the Middle East; sustainable national and global security; geopolitics of outer space and strategic technologies; and global strategic cascading risks.

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Professor Nayef Al-Rodhan, you began your career as a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist. Later on, approximately in 2002 you changed the focus of your career to the relation between neuroscience and international relations. What feature of the international relations study field caught your attention?

A The idea that neither man nor state

are rational..that justice ( minimally defined as fairness) is pivotal to sustainable security, that it is possible to compete internationally in a non-conflictual way, and that dignity preservation for all was as important as political freedom for accountable government and sustainable prosperity .

Q Among your research interests we

can find topics like geopolitics, global and national security, war and peace. In 2012, you published a book entitled: “Meta-Geopolitics of Outer Space: An Analysis of Space Power, Security and Governance”. Could you please give us a general overview of this book and also help us more adequately understand the term “Meta-Geopolitics”?


Meta-Geopolitics is my proposed

framework for a more holistic geopolitics in a globalized world that encompasses seven state capacities. The Space book was an attempt to apply that to the politics of outer space and propose ways to keep it secure as a global commons for humanity. Two problems are addressed which are : space debris, and potential weaponization of space. Two of my previously published paradigms are offered as possible solutions which are : symbiotic realism theory and multi-sum security principle.


Back in October of 2013, at the talk “The Art of Strategy” for the Institute of Art and Ideas (IAI), you said among other things: “(…) how the world has changed because of what we call instant connectivity and interdependence of humanity”… In your opinion, how have those two factors alongside with globalization modified the world?

A These were the results of globaliza-

tion and primarily the result of the information and communication technology revolution. These two consequences have accentuated the positive and negative aspects of a globalised world. They brought cultures together yet they



Future challenges for Global Security

increased misunderstanding. They enabled political and humanitarian discourse to be instantly seen everywhere without offering solutions thus accentuating the cynicism in the ability of the current international system to deal with mass atrocities, injustices and human rights violations...etc.

do behave rationally most of the time, but often behave irrationally/emotionally thus sabotaging their values and their national interest.

Q In the same talk “The Art of Strat-


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egy”, you also mentioned the “Global Security Paradigm” and the “emotionality of states”. Can you please tell us what the Global Security Paradigm is?


I published a book called the Five dimensions of Global Security. In this I suggested that global security has five dimensions: human security, national security, transnational security, environmental security and transcultural security. I also advocated what I called the Multi-sum security principle, which states that in a globalised world, every state and every culture has to be secure if everybody else wants to be secure and that justice was a pre-requisite to sustainable security.


What do you refer to when you talk about the emotionality of states?

A I have written on this quite a bit, ba-

sically IR theory assumes that states are rational actors in the pursuit of the national interest. I have shown numerous examples ( past and present) that states

Q In terms of Global Security, what would you say is a top security issue, not for one nation but to all?

The compromise of human dignity, primarily through domestic poor governance and external geopolitical manipulation. This is manifested as : inequality, injustices, marginalization, humiliation.


Some regions of the world face different challenges concerning the management of water. For example, according to statistics shown by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) “783 million people do not have access to clean and safe water. 37% of those people live in Sub-Saharan Africa”. Would you say that water management is a security issue? Why?

A Absolutely. This is because it is cen-

tral to people’s lives and livelihood. It is also intimately tied to food security which is pivotal to prosperous societies. Therefore it has huge national and global security consequences.

Q In April of 2015, you published in

the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs an article entitled: “The security implications and existential

Future challenges for Global Security

crossroads of artificial intelligence” where you talk widely about Artificial Intelligence and the implications of emerging technologies for security, ethics and even human existence. Do you think the development of AI has benefited humanity or has it negatively affected humanity?

science fiction; the truth is that there is actually a debate about “human enhancement”. What is your opinion of human enhancement in general, do you think it can be more helpful than dangerous?

Global Affairs México

A As I have written before, human en-

AI is of great benefit to humanity now and in the future…but it has the potential to be what we call a “ Run-away technology”, where we may lose control of it, thus potentially compromising our freedom, dignity or even survival. Therefore we need to encourage its development and innovation but we need strict oversight mechanisms to mitigate against its potential problems in the future.

hancement is inevitable. It is good for us for the most part, but it has the potential to be detrimental to our freedoms, dignity and equality. It can divide societies between the enhanced and the nonenhanced. There are also many ethical challenges of who gets enhanced and on what terms. So urgent bio ethical guidelines are needed at the global level.. The most consequential enhancement is cognitive enhancement, because it will change what it means to be human.

Q What is your evaluation of AI ap-

Q Are there any existing regulations


plied to warfare? Do you think it will represent a threat in a future?

A Yes… because it will make war more brutal and less accountable.

Q Are there any existing regulations for Artificial Intelligence?


Very little, thus the urgent need to draft pragmatic and enforceable guidelines at the global level.

Q We have watched it in movies, read

it in books, played it in videogames. May the idea seem to be taken out of

for this?

A Very little... Q

If the technological potential existed, what would your opinion be of “biologically enhanced soldiers”?

A This is a terrible idea…because some of these enhancements are irreversible thus negatively affecting the lives of soldiers. It will also increase the lethality and brutality of war, thus complicating postconflict peace efforts and possible reconciliation.



Future challenges for Global Security


If biologically enhanced soldiers existed, how would they modify the ethics and regulations of warfare?

Global Affairs MĂŠxico

A This would be very difficult... but we

would need to re-draw/re-phrase/ enact new ways of seeing war, war code of conduct, liabilities, war crimes, Geneva conventions, etc.

Volume 1~Issue 2 Africa

Sankara: The African Che Guevara


Naomi Salas Nava Abstract

The region of Burkina Faso has been scarred due to internal conflicts for a long time, it has not had a stable political regime, and it has survived to many coups. But, there was one person who efficiently organized and managed the State; he had clear objectives, he wanted a developed and sustainable country. This article talks about Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara, commonly called “The Che Guevara of Africa” or “The Black Che Guevara”, for he greatly admired Ernesto Guevara and also shared some of his political ideas.



Translated to English from its original version in Spanish.

Ivory Coast, Mali and Niger. After World War II and after several anticolonial rebellions, Upper Volta was reestablished, on September 4, 1947.


Upper Volta’s History

n the years 1895 and 1904 the French and British invaded the northern part of the African territory, including Burkina Faso.1 In 1986 the region became a French protectorate and it was not until 1898 that the French managed to conquer most part of the territory where now lies Burkina Faso. In that same year France and Great Britain signed a treaty to decide what territories would each receive, although the dividing lines they established only bore in mind that the territories needed to be equal in size, they didn’t take into account the fact that this arbitrary division would only cause problems for African people in the future, due to cultural differences, among other issues. In 1919 the territory was named “Upper Volta”, the name was given to it in honor of three rivers: White Volta, Black Volta and Red Volta. However, in the year 1932 the territory was again divided and became part of three different countries: 1

It acquired an autonomous government in 1958 and was incorporated to the French-African Community2; however, two years later in 1960, Upper Volta obtained its independence. In the year 1966 the government was overthrown by a military coup, from that moment until now, the political situation within the country has not been stable.

THOMAS SANKARA Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara was born on December 21, 1949 in Yako, a community within Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), he belonged to the ethnic group called “Silmi-Mossi”(Fer, 2007). Sankara’s family didn’t have enough money to send him study high school, so he had to join the army in order to continue his studies: “Surprisingly, by then, many professors he met in the academy had a Marxist training, and it was there where he first had contact with those ideas” (Lozano, 2015) . After graduating he desired to study medicine, but he ended up going to the “Military Academy of Antsirabe, Madagascar”, to be trained as an official.

The French made several expeditions using military and civil personnel, the objective was to obtain a treaty that would make them the legitimate settlers; at that time, diplomatic or pacific means were not commonly used. The French devastated plains, burned houses down, killed many people and even animals; repression was so intense that many people emigrated. 2 French strategy that sought to maintain France’s bonds with its ancient colonies.

When he came back to Upper Volta, both his way of thinking and his ideology were defined, his country needed a change.

position- as Secretary of Information: He lasted only six months in this position. He quit, after giving a mindblowing press conference, where he denounced authoritarianism and several attempts to “muzzle the population”. Those words set him as the most popular figure in the country (Lozano, 2015).

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First, he indoctrinated the soldiers that were with him, by teaching them what he knew about Marxism. His military and political career started in the City of Pô, where he earned the respect and admiration of the people, due to the help he gave them. In 1976, he got a permission to create the “Commando Training Centre”3 , where he trained young soldiers: “Later on, he pursued a training course in Rabat, Morocco, where he met Blaise Compaoré, who became Sankara’s best friend and comrade in arms, with whom he would carry on his revolution”(Lozano, 2015).

Since the beginning, Sankara trusted Compaoré. When they returned to Upper Volta, Sankara made him part of his personal military circle; Sankara’s father even adopted Compaoré as his own son, which only strengthened the relationship between the two. Since 1966, Lamizana Sangoulé kept control of the State. In 1978 civilians managed to take control again, although, on November 25, 1980, a coup brought down President Lamizana Sangoulé and established a Military Committee for the Enhancement of National Progress4 , leaded by Colonel Saye Zerbo who appointed Sankara -this was Sankara’s first public (Thomas Sankara WebSide, 2011). (GUISSOU, 2007). 5 (Thomas Sankara WebSide, 2011). 3 4

Sankara quit his job as Secretary of Information; he didn’t agree with the government, and along with Compaoré and other soldiers (Henri Zongo, Boukary Kaboré, Jean-Baptiste Lingani and Abdul Salam Kaboré) he created the “Communist Officers’ Group” (Biografia, 2011). On November 7, 1982, Sankara and the group organized a coup, where Jean-Baptiste Lingani, was appointed as president, and later on Thomas Sankara was appointed as Prime Minister on January of 1983.5 It was the first time he got into politics –says the writer. Muammar Ghadafi (who governed Libya back then, was one of the leading figures concerning Arab socialism) invited him to his country and adopted him as a revolutionary leader. At that time, every meeting organized in Upper Volta would gather thousands of people (Lozano, 2015).

The times he went abroad and the mee-



tings he held with other leaders of developing countries, attracted France’s attention. Due to French pressure and also due to the interference of the right-wing coalition, Sankara was imprisoned on May 1983. Blaise Compaoré, initiated a plan based on protests and public manifestations, with the help of people from the City of Pô and of Institutions like the AIP (African Independence Party); altogether they managed to set Sankara free, then he was taken to Uagadugú. Shortly after, he organized another coup along with his friends, military supporters and civil organizations, who were all against the government. After postponing the date several times, finally on August 4th, 1983, leaded by Blaise Compaoré and with help of Libya´s government6 , they overtook political power of the State.

but more importantly he told the people about the reforms he would implement.

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BURKINA FASO: BUILDING A NEW COUNTRY In 1983, Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara of 33 years of age, became president of Upper Volta and so began the “Sankarist Revolution”.7 In the speech of October 2, 1983, “Policy Guidance”, Sankara addressed the people of Upper Volta, and talked about how the administration since colonial times had not changed; ; the difference between the neo-colonial society and the colonial society was reduced to the word “neo”, because both pursued imperialist objectives8, 6 8

Sankara accused the powerful nations of looting and destroying the country, we cannot deny the fact that he hated the colonial times and was against all policies that were left by this period worldwide, but mainly the ones left in Africa. Upper Volta was devastated, for no ruler had ever been concerned about its people; health and education levels were quite low.9 After almost 23 years, Upper Volta was still and undeveloped country: In the field of education, our country lies among the most undeveloped ones, with a school enrolment rate of 16.4 percent and an illiteracy rate of 92 percent. It means that of every 100 voltaics, only seven know how to read and write. In the field of health, illness and death rates are amongst the highest, due to communicable diseases and nutritional deficiency. On the other hand, how can we avoid this catastrophic situation if we know that for every 1200 habitants there is one hospital bed, and that for every 48 thousand habitants there is one doctor? Only those few elements can help us understand the heritage that 23 years of neocolonialism left us, 23 years of policies that abandoned the country entirely (Sankara, 1983).

On August 4, 1984 a year after initiating

(Marxists, n.d.). 7(La increible historia, Thomas Sankara el Che Guevara africano, 2015). Sankara, Orientación Política, 1983). 9(Sankara, Orientación Política, 1983).

his mandate, Sankara changed the name of Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, which means “land of incorruptible men” or “land of integrity”10 ; he decided that after reforming the country entirely, the name Upper Volta was no longer adequate, for it still linked the country to its colonial past; he also modified the flag (he introduced the same star that Ernesto Che Guevara bore in his beret), the coat of arms and the national anthem.

Policies concerning women: the revolution would create any necessary means and conditions for all the women of Burkina Faso to have a good future; we couldn’t talk about freeing the people without modifying women’s social status. But this freedom goes far beyond being able to drink, smoke or use pants; there are also responsibilities and duties that would strongly link the women to the country:


The weight of secular traditions of our society condemns women to be a beast of burden. Women suffer twice the consequences caused by the neocolonial society. First, she knows the same sufferings a man goes through; second, women also suffer in the hands of men (Sankara 1983).

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In this section, we will closely analyze the policies that were boosted during Sankara’s government, some of them were quite positive, for they encouraged the development of a country that desperately needed a change. On the other hand, there were also some policies that did not have an entirely good effect. Let’s start by analyzing the policies that made a positive impact on the country; Sankara based his strategy on three main fields:

The national army: would be ready to fight at any moment against any internal or foreign enemy, besides it would take part in the training of new soldiers, who would be trained as revolutionaries, with a sense of belonging to the Nation. The army would also have a civil life that is, work in the fields, raising animals and building schools, thus the army would feel more identified with the people.

Everybody recognizes that Sankara achieved great changes concerning the rights of women, he made it possible for women to work within the State administration, giving posts to women in different areas, he regulated polygamy, banned female genital mutilation –a widely spread tradition in African countries-, and he also promoted the use of contraceptives.11 Economic development: was based on the idea of an independent and self-sufficient economy. To achieve this, reforms would be needed to remove all remnants of neocolonial policies that could still oppress peasants. The Reforms (in this

There are different interpretations of this name, since it is a combination of two African languages. (Thomas Sankara, 2007).

10 11



this area) are: Agrarian reform: agriculture would become the focal point, it would organize the peasants to increase productivity and make them learn modern techniques, to develop the industry and get a regional specialization.12

presidential office. To limit nepotism, he forbade his relatives to occupy public positions (Lozano, 2015).

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He carried out an agrarian reform that redistributed land, along with a distribution of fertilizers and seeds to farmers, and built small water reservoirs. Like that Burkina Faso became one of the few countries in the region to acquire self-sufficiency concerning cereals, the core of people´s diet. “He implemented a program to promote the local textile industry. In his speech he said clothes made in the country are the ones that should be used (Lozano, 2015).

Administrative reform: would eliminate any regulation or law from colonial times, and organize a more flexible and efficient government, the less expensive the better; he sold all luxurious cars (Mercedes Benz) that were intended for use of the State, bought the cheapest car on the market a “Renault 5” and his salary was equal to that of the Army’s Captain.13

He reduced the salaries of all public officials; He banned the use of drivers and forced his ministers to travel in economy-class. It is said that he even refused to install air condition in the

The education reform would focus on educating each citizen with revolutionary ideas, so that they could make objective reviews of the experiences of foreign countries, and when they graduated, they would serve the interests of the people and not their own. Also they lead campaigns to let them know that illiteracy is bad for society: “Any policy that seeks to battle illiteracy that does not count with the participation of key stakeholders is doomed to failure” (Sankara,1983). He built many schools and only in two years increased the literacy rate from 12% to 22%14; he built hospitals and houses, so that people could have their own properties or rent one; the latter had only one condition: the beneficiary would have to plant certain amount of trees and take care of them15; plus, he boosted several forest campaigns in the whole country and implemented coercive measures against any person who cut trees or started a fire: It’s been almost three years since my people, the people of Burkina Faso, fight against desertification…In Burikina Faso every joyful occasion –marriage, baptism, award ceremonies- are all celebrated along with tree plantings

(Sankara, Orientación Política, 1983). 13(La increible historia, Thomas Sankara el Che Guevara africano, 2015). 14(Sankara, Salvar el árbol, el medio ambiente y la vida misma., 1986). 15(Sankara, Salvar el árbol, el medio ambiente y la vida misma., 1986). 12

(Sankara, 1986). In the health sector, he quickly got vaccinations for most of the population against measles, meningitis and yellow fever. The most important thing is that the Infant mortality rate was significantly reduced (infant mortality rate of 180 per every thousand).16

taking part in a strike. It was an authoritarian action, an antidemocratic mistake, because he left the country without teachers, so he had to replace them with young people, whose training had been quick and insufficient (Lozano, 2015).

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Sankara created the so called “Committees for the defense of the Revolution”17 which were armed organizations that had the purpose of guarding the changes within the State. Their main task was to disband the tribes, but mainly to diminish the influence of tribal chiefs; in theory, this was a good idea, for those tribal chiefs forced the peasants to pay them (with their crops) and didn’t respect women´s rights. However, Sankara gave these committees way too much power and several times, they took advantage of that.

All the reforms were planned and applied, however, Burkina Faso kept on being a poor country. Sankara decided to invest all the available money in the reforms, so he stopped paying the debt Burkina Faso had with France. He considered that his country’s development was more important and refused to pay, because the country had no money and because the debt belonged to the colonial past of Burkina Faso:

Sankara’s government became quite authoritarian (Lozano, 2015). Among other measures, he banned all unions and free press; he repressed all forms of political dissent. He never thought of free elections.18 It is true that Sankara made some important mistakes. For example, he fired between 2.000 and 3.000 teachers for

(Sankara, Discurso ante Naciones Unidas, 1984). 17(Fer, 2007). (La increible historia, Thomas Sankara el Che Guevara africano, 2015).

16 18

We consider that the debt should be analyzed beginning with its origin. The origin of the debt goes back to the origins of colonialism. The ones who have lent us that money are the also the ones who colonized us; the ones that managed our State and our economiy[…] hence, we cannot pay it […]The debt is a wisely organized way of reconquering Africa […] it is not about morality[…] The debt cannot be payed, first, because if we do not pay the lenders will not die. We are sure of that. On the other hand, if we pay, it is us who will die. Be sure of that. The ones who have pushed us through this way, have played as if they were in a casino. While they were winning, there was no problem. Now



that they are loosing, they demand to receive a payment. And we talk about crysis. No, Mr. President, they played, they lost, that’s the game’s rule. Life goes on (Sankara, 1987).

Compaoré didn’t agree with many of Sankara’s policies, especially the ones involving public officials, for he was the vice-president, during the end of Sankara’s mandate. On October 15, 1987, Blaise Compaoré organized a coup against the one who had been like a brother to him. His main interest was money and any kind of fame that he could earn for him and his family20; however, he had declared that during Sankara’s mandate, there was great repression and that there were millions of death and imprisoned people.

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In the end Sankara was left alone, and even though he had a lot of popular support, many organizations and countries were against him, his reforms had upgraded the status of life in Burkina Faso, but they focused mostly on rural life, pushing the urban life aside. He knew that soon his mandate would be over, he had a lot of pressure, an example of this was the “Christmas War”.19

The end was something he foresaw. During an interview for a Belgian newspaper, 15 days before his death, he was asked about a possible plot against him, Sankara replied that the only one capable of killing him was Blaise Compaoré, for he knew him better than anyone. People around him insisted that he had to end the relationship with Compaoré, for he was a threat. But Sankara’s reply would always be the same: he just couldn’t do it because of their friendship; they were like brothers (Lozano, 2015).

Finally, Thomas Sankara died on October 15, 1987 (Lozano, 2015), along with 12 members of his cabinet (all killed by an armed group that entered by force to their office).21 However, there is not an accurate version of Sankara’s death; his family was told that after the coup, he had died of natural causes, and back then there was no way for the family to prove that wrong, for the body was buried and the government imposed several obstacles so that no true investigation could take place.22


From 1987 to 2014, Blaise Compaoré was president of Burkina Faso, his policies were completely different to those boosted by Sankara; right away, after he

The conflict began when government agents who were doing a census came to a town that belonged to Mali and interviewed several people. Ma took this as a violation of its sovereignty; although the conflict lasted only five days, almost 100 people from Burkina Faso died. 20 (Lozano, 2015). 21(La increible historia, Thomas Sankara el Che Guevara africano, 2015). 22 Compaoré’s responsibility in the murder of Sankara was the first complaint against Burkina Faso filed by Mariam Sankara, his widow. In April 2006. 19


was declared president, he issued an order to build a presidential palace; he bought airplanes for personal use and for the use of the State; he announced an economic strategy, open to private and foreign investment, which also enabled the cooperation between the government and financial international organisms.23

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Nowadays, there is a transitional government in Burkina Faso24 , Michel Kafando is in charge of it. The latter, has the intention of reviewing CompaorÊ’s regime and of clarifying what really happened to Sankara.25 There are plans to celebrate general elections this November.26

(Guia del mundo, 2007). Transitional government is the one between the term of a government and the beginning of another government. It is designated only before new elections take place. 25 (La increible historia, Thomas Sankara el Che Guevara africano, 2015). 26 (El Mundo, 2014). 23 24




*Àfrica Viva. (N.d.) “Burkina Faso”. Retrieved the 29 of May, 2015, from: http://www. *CCTV english. 2015. “CCTV”. Retrieved the 13 of June, 2015, from: http://english.cntv. cn/2015/02/15/VIDE1423997048785585.shtml *El Mundo. 2014. “El Mundo”. Retrieved the 26 of June, 2015, from: http://www.elmundo. es/internacional/2014/11/06/545b366a268e3e351e8b4572.html *Fer. 2007. “Historia pura”. Retrieved the 29 of May, 2015, from: http://historiapura. *GALLEGO, L. 2010. “Guin GuinBali”. Retrieved the 28 of June, 2015, from: http://www. *Guia del mundo. 2007. “Guia del mundo”. Retrieved the 13 of June, 2015, from: http:// *Guin Guin Bali. 2010. “Una ventana a África”. Retrieved the 13 of June, 2015, from: http:// odule=news&elementid=2490&id=4758&title=Justicia%20para%20Sankara%2C%20 justicia%20para%20%C3%81frica&return=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5ndWluZ3VpbmJhbGkuY29tL2luZGV4LnBocD9sYW5nPWVzJm1vZD1 *GUISSOU, B. L. 2007. “Nova africa”. Retrieved the 24 of June, 2015, from: http://www. *Lozano, A. 2015. “La increíble historia, Thomas Sankara el Che Guevara africano”. (Infobae, Entrevistador) Marxists. (N.d.). “Thomas Sankara”. Retrieved the 13 of June, 2015, from: https://www. *NG. 2013. “Foro Comunista, Acción Comunista”. Retrieved the 29 of May, 2015, from: *Rebelion. 2007.” Thomas Sankara”. Retrieved the 13 of June, 2015, from: http://www. Sankara, T. 1984. “Discurso ante Naciones Unidas”. *Sankara, T. 1987. “Discurso: Homenaje a Che Guevara: Las ideas no se matan”. Uagadugú. *Sankara, T. 1987. “Discurso: La liberación de la mujer, Una exigencia del futuro”. *Sankara, T. 1983. “Discurso: Orientación Política”. Uagadugú. *Sankara, T. 1986. “Discurso: Salvar el árbol, el medio ambiente y la vida misma”. París. *Sankara, T. 1987. “Discurso: Un frente unido contra la deuda”. Addis Abbeba. *Shuffield, R. (Direction). (2006). Thomas Sankara The Upright Man [Movie]. *Thomas Sankara WebSide. 2011. Retrieved the 29 of May, 2015, from:

Global Affairs México

NAFTA and mexican politics Interview with Mark Aspinwall

By Raúl Ruiz Solís More about Mark Aspinwall.. Mark Aspinwall’s research interests are in regional integration, and especially the impact of regional organizations on domestic politics in North America and the European Union. His most recent project concerns the capacity-building effect of the NAFTA environmental side agreement on Mexican politics. This project was partfunded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh. He is currently researching legal mobilization among Latin American environmental groups, as well as administrative capacity and the acceptance of labor rights norms. He has published in numerous scholarly journals, including British Journal of Political Science, Review of International Studies and Political Studies. His most recent book is Side Effects: Mexican Governance Under NAFTA’s Labor and Environmental Agreements (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013). This book was translated into Spanish and was published in 2014 under the title Efectos Paralelos, Mexico City: Editorial CIDE). From 2009-12 he was Coordinator of MERCURY, a consortium of nine partner institutions funded by the European Commission, examining the external relations of the European Union. He is an editorial board member of the journal European Union Politics, and is a member of the following Politics Research Groups: International Politics Research Group; European Union Research Group. Mark Aspinwall is involved in ongoing training and capacity-building efforts in various countries. He gives a twice-yearly talk to senior NATO officers and Foreign/Defence Ministry officials at the NATO Defence College in Rome, on the politics of the international financial system.


Volume 1~Issue 2


Global Affairs México

Q Among your research interests we can find Mexican politics. Your most recent project concerns the capacitybuilding effect of NAFTA’s environmental side agreement on Mexican politics. Could you please tell us what feature of Mexico caught your attention in order to focus your investigation on both the region and the Mexican State?

A My interest is in regional integration and its effect on member states. I started 25 years ago by looking at the European Union, and my last project there concerned the effect of the EU on Britain, which is again an important issue there. I then turned to North America and asked, what has the effect of NAFTA been on its member states, especially Mexico? My book Side Effects (translated to Spanish as Efectos Paralelos and published by CIDE press in 2014) compared the effect of the labor and environmental side agreements on Mexican politics, and the findings were very interesting.


Since NAFTA came into force on January 1st, 1994, debate broke out (even before 1991-92) between proponents and opponents, concerning topics like: employment, job’s quality,

trade deficits between the signatory countries and what effects, if any, NAFTA had on the environment. After 21 years asymmetries of power and economic vitality persist. How would you evaluate NAFTA’S importance and efficiency as a regional power?


It is important to understand that NAFTA is not a regional power, it is not like the European Union, in this sense NAFTA is not an actor in its own right, but a group of three countries; and it is very weak in terms of institutions; although as I mentioned in “Side Effects” the labor and environmental agreements had important capacity-building effects. There is also something called a free trade commission, where trade commissioners from the three countries come together as well as their “technocrats”. That has a very important part to play because they try to build and harmonize standards between the three countries, I think that is very important. On the other hand NAFTA has not obviously solved all the problems for Mexico, the country continues to have lots of problems; there is asymmetry between the US and Mexico, that’s clear, but also inequality and poverty problems within Mexico, which you know as well as I the levels of

NAFTA and mexican politics

informality in the economy, unemployment is low but informality is high; high levels of poverty, and high levels of inequality which is measured between regions like North and South, Urban and Rural, between classes, between indigenous groups and those groups that live in the city. I mean Mexico City is a big middle class, Mexico City is like New York City or London in many ways, mainly in terms of a big middle class with good cars, internet access, health and education, but it is more divided. These are ongoing problems and NAFTA simply did not have the tools, the resources or the purpose to try to really address those issues. The aim was to create a huge boost of trade and inward investment for Mexico and the trade part is where there are discussions about overdependence, overreliance on the US economy and what happens when the US economy declines.


EU is a huge donor of foreign aid, and it has a currency, a passport free zone that includes most of its countries. NAFTA, in terms of institutions doesn’t have anything like the European Commission, for example, those kinds of actors who go to international meetings or forums.

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So in terms of trade, can we describe NAFTA as a kind of counterweight to the European Union?

A Yes, in terms of free trade NAFTA al-

ready is a counterweight; it doesn’t have quite the economic size of the European Union since the European Union has 28 countries and NAFTA has three, but in economic terms NAFTA is pretty close, mainly the US in combination with its trade partners. But if we talk about institutional terms NAFTA doesn’t have anything like the European Union,the


Your most recent book is “Side Effects: Mexican Governance under NAFTA’S Labor and Environmental Agreements”. Could you please give us a brief overview of this publication? Throughout your investigation, would you conclude that NAFTA has benefitted Mexico?

A First of all, the benefit for NGOS has

been very important, and also the creation of domestic institutions in Mexico. Some of the environmental institutions were clearly created because of NAFTA, so the environmental institutions and environmental policy and in terms of NGOS, all of that was strengthened because of NAFTA. Labor probably has been strengthened because of NAFTA but it has been much more resistant, labor politics here is much more of an old structure, with rent-seeking interests, a situation where corrupted unions try to maintain their privileges. That has been opened up a bit by NAFTA, but also by other things that have occurred within Mexico. I also think that the way certain institutions like the Side agreements are designed is very important, the fact that the environmental side agreements in



NAFTA and mexican politics

NAFTA have an institutional component which is where NGOS are permanently based, where they have permanent access and influence; that has been important as well, the labor side agreement does not have that. The environmental side agreement is more neutral and independent of the member States. There are some differences there that have made an impact on Mexico; on balance I think it has benefitted Mexico and I think it is overly criticized sometimes, I think there are downsides and problems as well, but in general it is positive.


A When I talk to people in the UK for example, about Mexico as a democratizing country, we would sometimes have these discussions about how democratic Mexico is, its democratic transition and so forth. To me, the real issue of Mexico is not democracy or the democratic transition, I think the real issue is governance; and corruption is one important element of governance, but it is not the only one. There are also problems that are related to the lack of capacity, patronage of civil service systems and bureaucracies in which local leaders, municipal leaders appoint political supporters into bureaucratic positions following the elections, where instead you really want to have technocrats or experts, with training, with capacity and ideally with a long career tenure, not three years and then be out of the job again. The best qualified candidates should be hired, and not the ones appointed by the clientelistic system. Also, lack of will power to carry through on legal requirements for example related to gender equality, labor rights or human rights, they get pushed to one side, because what we want, for example, is a tourist development, or a manufacturing plant to provide jobs or provide economic growth, so those are higher priorities; so you find all these elements affecting governance. Corruption continues to be a problem in Mexico, although I don’t know myself personally how widespread it is; certainly, the impressions are that there are high levels of corruption, but it can also be a

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One of the most important issues, not only in Mexico but in the whole world is corruption, because it is present everywhere, but there are different points of view regarding this topic. For example, in 2005 Maxim Mironov analyzed the effect of corruption on economic growth in a paper entitled “Bad corruption, good corruption and growth”, concluding that: “Bad corruption or corruption which is associated with poor institutions has a negative impact on economic growth and capital accumulation. However, residual (idiosyncratic) corruption, or corruption which is uncorrelated with other governance characteristics has a strong positive effect on development in countries with poor institutions”. That said: What is your opinion about those statements and of corruption in general?

NAFTA and mexican politics

social construction of corruption, if you know theoretical literature on constructivism that we learn or we accept the idea, basically we construct the notion of ourselves as a corrupt society, because we talk to each other about it all the time, even if you do not have that much personal experience. There are some who believe in the governance literature that dealing with corruption is a matter of providing more information and more ability to monitor public officials like police, and I am working on a paper now that tries to address this. In the United States and some other parts of the world they’re beginning to use more police cameras to record interactions with the public, this could help overcome problems of corruption, violence or police shooting innocent people; can that kind of idea be applied to police in Mexico? Or in another country where there is a large history of corruption? We can imagine that the police officers can take the camera off or delete the recording, I mean police in Ayotzinapa are obviously not going to want a recording of what they did -police handing students over to organized crime groups- and so they are going to take measures to try to avoid being recorded, but many believe that what we need to do is make that system of recording and monitoring stronger. However, there are countries where corruption is so endemic and widespread that no amount of information or monitoring will help because of high levels of impunity. There is no individual or no

group that has the incentive to begin to act upon information, because it simply is not enough to show examples of corruption if there is no justice.

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Q And in some way could that moni-

toring mechanism be applied not only to police officers but to public officials as well?

A Well, that is a good question, and it

is exactly where I go in the paper that I am working on. The question is: what the limits are? , you have for example, a public secondary school, where a counselor -who is a public official because he works in a public school-, has the responsibility to counsel vulnerable teenagers on issues to do with sex education or bullying, so he is in his office dealing with a young 14,15 year old in a sensitive situation, so you simply don’t want to record that; of course there would be possibilities where a public official could abuse his position, ask for a bribe, extort or take advantage of the vulnerability, and if you recorded it you then might overcome that, but it is probably not worth the risk, because it is sensitive and private. Another example is when police officers sometimes go into people´s houses and ask questions about cases that they’re investigating and that is private too, that doesn’t belong in the public domain. There may be situations where it doesn’t work and other situations for example, you go to a bureau to get a driver’s license and although it is



NAFTA and mexican politics

a public place it is also a public office; and the bureaucrat there asks you for a bribe; that sort of case might be worth recording. I think it is possible that some corruption is not necessarily damaging, in fact another perspective of this is that corruption is simply something that is culturally specific, sometimes it is part of a tradition, sometimes it is not seen as corruption by local people, but as the way business is done.


What they need to have is transparency, and they need to have monitoring to make sure that these, for example, lease of offshore oil fields occur in a transparent way in which competition is fostered and encouraged, just like it happens in Norway or the UK, again it has to be done in a transparent way, so that there isn’t a possibility for individual enrichment.

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The current government has boosted a series of important structural reforms (energetic, educational, in telecommunications, treasury, and political-electoral transparency, among others). Although, these reforms are vital for Mexico’s development, debate arose whether they actually solve issues or they just scratch the surface of Mexico´s problems. What is your opinion of these reforms?

A In general I think they are good, I

think the government is doing the right thing, but the “devil is in the detail” as they say in English. Whether they will work or not is still uncertain, I mean, people have criticized the energetic reform, why? Because the assumption is that the government and some of its members will become wealthier, they’ll arrange the contracts, get kickbacks or payoffs for awarding contracts, etc, and that may or may not be the case.

On the educational reform, the key thing about testing the teachers is that could this be used as a way of targeting people who are not sympathetic or party members and fire them, of course you don’t want that but to have the best teachers you possibly can tested in reasonable way, and there is also a great difference between teachers of poor rural areas and urban areas. My opinion, is that if you want these sort of things to work, you need to have competition policies, for example in the private sector you have firms that compete against one with another under a regulated system, in which prices will come down to meet market demands; now, the regulators must have high qualified individuals with a large career tenure and reasonable pay, they need to be as independent as possible from executive control, they need to have legal mandate, a legal authority to do their job properly, that is to lease oil fields, or to govern/ oversee schools or teachers.


NAFTA and mexican politics

In 2009, President Felipe Calderon presented a political reform proposal, which among other significant changes, made room for independent candidates. The past 7th of June, elections for governors, deputies and mayors took place; surprisingly, independent candidates like Jaime Rodriguez, Manuel Clouthier, Cesar Valdéz, Pedro Kumamoto, Alberto Mendez and Alfonso Martinez won different public positions. What is your opinion of those events and what message do you think they could be sending to the ruling political parties in Mexico?


alternatives had annulled their vote, they wouldn’t have achieved anything. Mexico will not achieve democratic change or real alternation of power (including leftist governments) without people taking part in the elections. I think Mexico needs a leftist president, because I think the country needs to go that way and there could be good leftist presidents, that could bring great things to Mexico, not a “caudillo”, not someone like Hugo Chavez, but a Felipe Gonzalez (after the democratization in Spain) that is the kind of change Mexico needs; there is a huge percentage of the population that will never trust the politicians as long as there is no leftist, and then when there is a leftist they will find that some positive changes could be made like AMLO in Mexico City , but a leftist politician can’t do everything, I mean no individual politician –because we are not in a dictatorship- can do everything.

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I think this is great, I believe in competition, transparency and balance of power, I think this is healthy for Mexico, I can’t think of a bad thing about it, of course I don’t know these individuals themselves, they may or may not have various problems, but in general the principle of independent candidates is a great one. The night of the elections, I was listening to Carmen Aristegui and Denise Dresser who happened to be with her, said something interesting which I completely disagree with, she was speaking in favor of vote annulation and she said “Annulling is also voting” and I don’t think annulations can be considered as voting, I can interpret that as “active apathy”. Which of these independent candidates would have won a position or what percentage of the vote would MORENA have received if their supporters instead of voting for these

Q In an essay entitled “What’s gone

wrong with democracy” published in The Economist, we can read a wide evaluation of Democracy’s status: “Democracy is going through a difficult time. Where autocrats have been driven out of office, their opponents have mostly failed to create viable democratic regimes. Even in established democracies, flaws in the system have become worryingly visible and disillusion with politics is rife. Yet just a few years ago democracy looked as though it would dominate the world”.



NAFTA and mexican politics

What is your opinion of those statements and of democracy nowadays? What do you think of democracy in Mexico?


generally clean voting and fair elections. But in Mexico the democratic system is very geared to the political parties rather than governance and Mexico City as the economic and political capital tends to attract the strongest individuals, hence, democracy in other regions of the country can be much weaker, in fact, Mexico’s a federal system, so the municipal level can be the weakest of all, at the level of state governance it gets a little better, and the federal government is the best, but municipal level governments can be local strongholds of corruption and party clientelism, we see it in Guerrero or Michoacan and connections to organized crime that cause things like “Ayotzinapa”.

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I agree, and it goes back exactly to what I said before, I think the issue is not democracy but governance! You have to separate those two things, maybe some people have tied them together, but democracy is the way you choose and governance is what they do after they’re in power, hence governance is extremely important. You can’t get to good governance without a strong system of institutions as I said it before. I will say it again transparent, independent institutions; that are staffed with people who have the capacity to do the jobs. In 2011, with the Arab Spring there was so much enthusiasm and optimism to bring down Hosni Mubarack, then the president of Tunisia; but they didn’t bring in what they needed afterwards which was good governance. There is a body of literature in political science about the transition to democracy; the transition to democracy now needs to be replaced with thinking about transition to governance. I think governance is weaker than democracy, I think democracy is good in many ways, the good things are, for example, there are multiparty elections, there is plenty of information, there are opportunities to vote, there seems to be

Volume 1~Issue 2 Latin America

Mexico: the migration trinity


Raúl Ruiz Solís


The purpose of this article is to analyze the complex migratory situation in Mexico and all the edges that compose this topic: the sources of the region´s migratory fluxes, the vulnerable situation of human rights in the migration processes, the actions undertaken by the Mexican government, that in the face of north American pressure has become a barrier for migrants going to the US and the important role that Mexico has obtained in the International scene for being such an important “migratory bridge”.



Translated to English from its original version in Spanish.


he international Organization for Migrations, in its Glossary of Migration, refers to the term migrant as shown below: At the international level there is no universally accepted definition of the term “migrant.” This term usually encompasses all cases where the decision to migrate is taken freely by the individual for “reasons of personal convenience” and without intervention of external factors that force the person to do so. Thus, this term is applied to people and their families who go to another country or region to improve their social and material conditions; and their perspectives and those of their families (2006, p.41). Migration is an inherent element to human societies. It is a phenomenon that allows to share culture and knowledge between nations, as well as to promote the well-being and development of migrants –in some cases-. Unfortunately, nowadays migratory

fluxes have dramatically increased; as a consequence, many regions in the world have been destabilized. This might be due to the amount of migrants that cross certain territory, because of the dangerous ways in which some migrants travel, or simply because the countries that migrants have to cross do not have the capacity to ensure their safety and the respect to their human rights. Currently, some of the most important migration spots are: Libya, in the African continent, where after the violent fall of Muamar Gadafi , migratory fluxes of people who try to cross the Mediterranean Sea have increased: “ In 2014, more than 170.000 arrived to Italy [migrants from Libyan territory, who crossed the Mediterranean] the biggest flux in the history of any other country member of the European Union” (BBC Paul Adams, 2015). In the same continent, countries like Mauritania and Morocco are also important migrations spots. In Middle East, migratory fluxes are mainly caused by forced displacement. Currently, most refugees come from Syria and their destinies within the region are: Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and Turkey. The latter is where, UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) to May 26th of 2015 registered 1, 761,486 Syrian refugees.1 The Andaman Sea and the Bay of

UNHCR. “Syria Regional Refugee Response, Inter-agency information sharing portal”, 2015


Bengal in Asia are also witnesses of migratory fluxes that come from cities like Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh or Rakain in Burma; according to the IOM, in January of 2015, almost 250.000 migrants took this path.2 Finally, in this sense the Mexico-Texas migratory corridor represents the biggest flux of migrants worldwide, summing up to 1, 9 million people who try to cross the Mexican territory every year, seeking to get to the United States, Canada or stay in Mexico.3 And it is on this point, where we will focus our attention.

engaged, is engaged or has been engaged in a remunerated activity, as the case may be; (c) The term “State of transit” means any State through which the person concerned passes on any journey to the State of employment or from the State of employment to the State of origin or the State of habitual residence.4

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In order to better understand the role of Mexico as a transit country, I consider it important to define first some concepts. If we define States in respect of their function in the migratory fluxes, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrants and Members of their Families (1990) in its sixth article established the following: For the purposes of the present Convention: (a) The term “State of origin” means the State of which the person concerned is a national; (b) The term “State of employment” means a State where the migrant worker is to be

In this sense, as it reads in the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families: “The committee recognizes that Mexico is a migration country, that presents the three types of known migrations, since it is a country of origin, transit and destiny of migrant workers” (CMW, 2006). Hence, Mexico is a “State of origin”. For, a great part of migrants that travel to USA (mainly) and Canada are Mexican. According to CONAPO (National Commission of Population), the origin points of migration in Mexico can be divided in regions: traditional region, north, center and south-southeast. The traditional region represents the main source of the Mexican migratory flow and it is formed of nine entities: Aguascalientes, Colima, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas.5 The north region, has a lower intensity

International Ogranization for Migrations in “7 gráficos para conocer los puntos calientes de la migración en el mundo”, 2015. Chamber of Deputies, “Boletín N° 5421”, 2015. 4 Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrants and Members of their Families”, 1990. 5 CONAPO, “Regiones de Origen y destino de la migración México- Estados Unidos”. 2 3



but is still very important, for migrants from other regions of Mexico travel there, as well as migrants who are sent back by North American authorities; the entities of this region are Baja California, Baja California Sur, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, Sonora, Tamaulipas and Sinaloa.6

remember that Mexico’s Southern border is formed of the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Quintana Roo and Campeche; this border has a long history filled with cross-border features and due to its proximity to Guatemala and Belize, these features are only strengthened. There are several reasons to migrate, as the study of Carrasco Gonzalez (p.173-174175) suggests, the main reason is related to the economic situation in those countries and the low employment opportunities; even though, the political part also causes forced displacements; however, in the recent years displacements have been mostly related to insecurity, due to the appearance of criminal groups that threat people’s security; an example of the latter, is the criminal group named “mara-salvatrucha”, just one of the many existing criminal organizations.

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The center region is formed of the following entities: Morelos, Queretaro, Tlaxcala, Puebla, Hidalgo, Federal District and the State of Mexico; finally, the South-Southeast region encompasses the following federal entities: Campeche, Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Veracruz and Yucatan.7

On this stage, according to data shown by the INM (National Institute of Migration), although it is hard to determine the exact quantity of Mexicans that have migrated to the United States, we can esteem that annually a million of regular migrants (legal or documented) and irregular (illegal or undocumented) arrive to the United States, plus 400.000 Mexicans that are sent back every year.8 Apart from these quantities, according to IOM, approximately 11 million people born in Mexico live in the United States.9 Mexico also bears the characteristics of a “State of Destiny”. In this sense, when we talk about migration towards the Mexican State, it is important to

The migratory fluxes in this part of the world are integrated by a big amount of different nationalities, among which we can highlight Guatemalan, Honduran and Salvadoran migrants; even though people from countries like Nicaragua, Ecuador, Belize, Colombia and Costa Rica are also part of the list.10 Despite that, in the recent years, in Mexico appeared an increasing number of transcontinental emigrants from China, Tibet, India, Egypt, Nepal and South Africa; they come to Mexico with the

CONAPO, “Regiones de Origen y destino de la migración México- Estados Unidos”. CONAPO, “Regiones de Origen y destino de la migración México- Estados Unidos”. 8 International Organization for Migrations, “Hechos y Cifras (2014)”, 2014. 9 International Ogranization for Migrations,” Hechos y Cifras (2014)”, 2014. 10 International Ogranization for Migrations: Estadísticas de los casos asistidos dentro del programa de asistencia directa a víctimas de trata de la OIM en México”, 2005-2010. 6 7

purpose of getting to the United States.11 On the other hand, it is estimated that approximately 90% of the migrants from Central America stay in Mexico, as a consequence of the hardening of anti-migrant policies in Mexico and in several states of the American Union.12

However, there are some who choose to take the Atlantic route, through Tamaulipas, to get to the United States; others prefer to go to the Federal District and from there travel to the different borders: Piedras Negras in Coahuila, Tijuana in Baja California, or Nogales, Aguaprieta or Sasabe in Sonora (ZONAJ, Carmona, J. para. 7).

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Finally, taking into account the earlier mentioned amounts and facts, Mexico also has the characteristics of a “transit State”, maybe one of the most important worldwide due to the amount of migrants that go through the Mexican territory; where the paths these people take are well-known for being highly dangerous. The first option, migrants have in order to get to the north of the Mexican territory is to get up on the train known as La bestia (a train that travels through the whole Mexican territory). However, in recent years, getting up on the train has turned out to be quite hard –since monitoring activities of the Mexican migration authorities have increased-. The route of La bestia begins in the cities of Tenosique, Tabasco or Tapachula, in Chiapas. And crosses cities like Cordoba and Orizaba, before getting to Mexico City; later on, it crosses San Luis Potosi and the city of Saltillo. In Monterrey, it crosses the rail beltway traced over the municipalities of Escobedo and Garcia. Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosi are considered the most dangerous states for illegal Center American migrants.

Nonetheless, due to the hardening of Mexican migratory policies through the Programa Frontera Sur (Program South Border) among other things -which we will analyze later-, migrants have been forced to choose other options in order to get to the United States. One is a sea route. Civil organizations and shelters that operate in southern Mexico have found that people smugglers, known as “polleros” or “coyotes” - use rafts or small boats to skirt the coast of Chiapas. Some leave from the port of Ocós in the Department of San Marcos, Guatemala, and make stops in coastal villages in the municipalities of Mazatlan, Acapetahua and Tonala, Chiapas, already in Mexico. From there they continue through the Gulf of Tehuantepec, without straying too far from the coast, until they get to the port of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca. Another route leaves from Mazatlan and from there it goes through the sea or intercoastal canals, stopping in villages like Acapetahua or Tonala until they get to Salina Cruz. Sometimes they stop at beaches

Alberto Morales, “Al alza, trafico de asiáticos y africanos vía México”, 2011, leído en: Gonzalo Carrasco González, La migración centroamericana en su tránsito por México, p. 176. 12 La Jornada, “Se quedan en México 90% de los migrantes centroamericanos”, 2012. 11



in the municipality of San Francisco Ixhuatán, Oaxaca. From Salina Cruz migrants turn to Ixtepec, also in Oaxaca, where the railway goes to Veracruz, eastern part of the country, and from there they continue the journey by train or bus to Tamaulipas, in the northeast -Texas border-, United States [...] others go to the state capital, Oaxaca, and from there continue on passenger buses to Puebla. Then they move to Mexico City. That is the so-called “traditional route”, the shortest but also most dangerous, because according to the independent National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) on the way migrants suffer beatings, kidnapping, sexual abuse and thefts [...] Some board particular buses that travel from Chiapas to Tijuana, a journey of several days through some 3,000 kilometers of roads. It is an irregular business, for these enterprises are not registered as “transport businesses”, but they make several business trips each week. Officially they are tour companies. The route is often used by migrant women and children, who also often travel by public transport [...] (BBC, 2015).

of criminal groups or public officers. I consider it worthy, to quote a part of the “Amnesty International Report 2014/15: The State of the World’s Human Rights”. In the part where Mexico is mentioned, we can read the following about the “Refugees’ and migrants’ rights”:

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In this part we will analyze, taking into account specific reports, the pitiful situations lived by migrants who arrive to or cross Mexico, in the hands

Insecurity and social deprivation in their home countries drove increasing numbers of Central American migrants to cross Mexico to reach the USA, particularly unaccompanied children. Migrants continued to be killed, abducted and subject to extortion by criminal gangs, often operating in collusion with public officials. Women and children were particularly vulnerable to sexual violence and people trafficking. There were continued reports of ill-treatment by police and migration officials carrying out detentions. Irregular migrants continued to be held in administrative detention pending deportation. Migrants’ rights defenders providing safe havens to migrants and denouncing abuses suffered by migrants continued to face threats and intimidation. Several received protection measures, but in some cases these were not applied effectively and failed to prevent new threats being made. Those responsible for the threats were not brought to justice (p.251).

On the other hand, the “2015 World Report”, of Human Rights Watch, says the following about migration in Mexico:

Hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants, including unaccompanied children and families, pass through Mexico each year and many are subjected to grave abuses en route at the hands of organized crime, migration authorities, and security forces. A 2013 report by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) found that “robberies, extortion, kidnappings and physical and psychological assaults, sexual abuse, murders and disappearances to which [migrants] fall victim… have taken a dramatic turn for the worse” in recent years. In April, approximately 300 Central American migrants and 3 rights defenders accompanying them were allegedly attacked and forcibly detained by immigration and police officials in Tabasco, according to the IACHR. Authorities have not taken adequate steps to protect migrants, or to investigate and prosecute those who abuse them. The government has also failed to implement protective measures granted by national and international human rights bodies in favor of migrant shelters’ staff, who face threats and harassment from criminal groups and officials (p.383).

for the so called “coyotes”13 , who many times abandon the transports filled with people in the middle of the desert, when they promised and received money for taking all those migrants to the United States.

Global Affairs México

As we can notice, the situations that migrants must endure through their journey are quite hard, due to several factors against them, whether we talk about the journey, dangerous as it is, the criminal groups, the corrupt public officers or that those migrants are easy prey 13

It is also important to know that international pressure on Mexico has increased, after noticing the growth of migratory fluxes and the several cases of human rights violations. An important example of this is the list of preliminary recommendations made by the Inter-American Commission on human rights to the Mexican State in 2011, in the document entitled “Preliminary observations of the IACHR’S rapporteurship on the rights of migrant workers on its visit to Mexico”: 1.Take steps to immediately guarantee the life and personal integrity of migrants within Mexican territory through concrete measures to facilitate safe travel by all the inhabitants, such as establishing migrant care centers along the migration routes, providing support to civil society organizations that work with migrants, conducting massive campaigns to education migrants about their rights, and other measures; 2. Provide safe means of transportation and adapt the existing means of transportation to be in compliance with minimum safety standards; 3. Ensure security at all transportation terminals and migrant shelters; 4. Immediately undertake a far-reaching, transpa-

A coyote is a smuggler, who gets money for helping migrants cross the northern border Mexico-US.



consultation with civil society and all areas of the federal and state government that are involved in immigrationrelated matters, with a view to drafting the Regulations to govern the Immigration Law; 5. Ensure that the future Regulations clearly state that immigration detention is to be the exception, in keeping with inter-American standards; provide as broad a guarantee as possible that documentation will be issued to facilitate migrants’ transit; 6. In the future Regulations, make provision for alternatives to detention; 7. Give civil society organizations access to immigration stations to check the condition of the immigrants detained there. An organization’s accreditation must be sufficient to allow it access during visiting hours; 8. Ensure the security of defenders of migrants’ human rights; 9. Guarantee that migrants have access to justice through measures such as pro bono legal services and establishment of a protection program for victims of and witnesses to crimes committed against migrants; 10. In consultation with civil society, establish protocols for the handling and identification of corpses; 11. Consult with specialized civil society organizations and independent experts on matters related to the identification of dead bodies discovered; 12. Periodically train all federal and state officials in crime prevention and investigation; 13. Coordinate its immigration policies with all the countries in the region, so as to ensure

the human rights of all inhabitants. It is worth mentioning that many recommendations have been issued to the Mexican State, for example, the reports made by special rapporteurs of the Commission of Human Rights, on Migrants’ Human Rights, in 2002 and 2009.14 However, there is a great difference between the recommendations and the real situation of migrants within the country.

Global Affairs México



In this part we will analyze some recent actions taken by the Mexican State, to “control” the pass of center American migrants in Mexico. The program Frontera Sur has been highly criticized, due to the high standards established for migrants, so that they can travel to Mexico; among other things; what is more concerning is the fact that the situation of human rights has not been improved. How do these actions pretend to guarantee the respect of migrants’ human rights? The program was presented on July 7th, 2014 and was published on the Official Journal of the Federation one day after. “[…] its purpose is to protect and safeguard the human rights of the migrants that enter and travel around the Mexican territory; it also seeks to arrange the international passages in order to increase the development and security of

International Recommendations to Mexico on Human Rights, “Informes”.

the region”.15 Later, President Enrique Peña Nieto detailed the five lines of action of the program Frontera Sur:

than 16 thousand consults; this line of action also seeks to improve the conditions of shelters and migratory stations. To achieve that, we will reinforce the collaboration frameworks with organizations of the civil society that take care of migrants. DIF shelters that are temporarily hosting migrant children will be supported, not only in the southern part of the country but on the north as well, for their capacity has been outmatched due to increasing children migration: fourth: regional co-responsibility. Mexico has assumed an active role in different multilateral migration forums, like the National Conference on Migration; fifth line of action: interagency coordination. The Coordination for Integral Migration Care in the southern border, attached to the Interior Ministry (Secretaría de Gobernación), will have the task of establishing the coordination of interagency efforts that will take place in the southern border of our territory to reach the following goals: give humanitarian aid and attention to migrants, and guarantee the respect of their human rights (2014).

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First: Formal and ordered passage. This measure will give certainty to the temporary stay of migrants; it will favor the coexistence between the people of our countries and strengthen exchanges of information between authorities. In order to make their visit to our country safe and ordered, agents of the National Migration Institute and all other authorities shall ensure with absolute respect the rights of the bearers of the Regional Guest Card; second line of action: Order in the border and greater security for migrants. The southern border of Mexico should be a secure border for both Mexicans and migrants. For this purpose, infrastructure and equipment necessary for migratory order will be improved. First, the proper operation of the 12 official border crossings points will be ensured, 10 with Guatemala and two with Belize; review customs points will be transformed, and they’ll become Integral Care Centers for border transit. Additionally, mobile control lines will be strengthened to ensure order and legality regarding passage of people and goods at the border; third line of action: protection and social action in favor of migrants. A year ago, the Government of the Republic put into operation five medical units in Chiapas for the care of migrants; today we have granted more 15

On the other hand, a journalistic study made jointly by “Animal Politico”, the Department of International Studies and the Master of Journalism and Public Affairs of CIDE, shows not very positive results of the program Frontera Sur; the study explains that the implementation of this program has increased almost 50% the capture of migrants; it has obstructed

Presidency of the Republic, “Pone en marcha el Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto el Programa Frontera Sur”, 2014.



the access of center American migrants to La bestia, now those migrants must not only be aware of criminals but also of police and migratory authorities. Far from giving migrants protection, the statistics shown in the study, obtained through the transparency act, show that the kidnapping of migrants has increased almost 166%.16

on halting the migratory fluxes and not on regulating them so that the human rights of migrants can be protected. Hence, the effort must be performed jointly, for it is not only Mexico’s duty to solve this issue, the United States and the countries where migrants come from must be deeply involved as well.

Global Affairs México

It is a concern that a program with such transcendence for migration in the Mexican State has only aggravated some already existing issues, instead of solving them. In July 14 of 2014, shortly after the program was announced, the Working Group on Migration Policy (GTPM) criticized the program , stating that: “it endorses a view of national security, placing the management and control of migration fluxes above human security” (Reforma, 2014). This only grows worse if we remember that according to International Law, States can establish measures to control the entrance and exit of migrants, although the actions that might be taken must always respect human rights and fundamental principles( like no discrimination).


Bearing in mind the previously mentioned facts, we can understand the importance of migration issues in Mexico, but above all, we can notice that the current governmental efforts have focused Animal Político, “Programa Frontera Sur: una cacería de migrantes”


It is worth mentioning that there have also been several violations to human rights (mainly Mexican) in the United States. The background of programs to address migration issues in the United States is quite wide, some examples are: Prevention through deterrence in 1994, Operation hold the line in 1993-94 at El Paso or Operation Gatekeeper in San Diego. Finally and going back to joint actions , far from single efforts a negotiation could take place in order to create a regional agreement and include in it countries like the Unites States, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras, with the purpose of unifying efforts, not to suffocate migratory fluxes and force migrants to take even more dangerous paths, but to create a structure that can manage these processes, by accompanying migrants and by guarantying their well-being, hence, stability might return to the region; and if the figure of deportation is required, make it as human and decent as possible, different to what occurs nowadays.

On the other hand, economic support to countries where all these migrants come from is pivotal; if the economic needs of those countries could in some way be alleviated –through foreign investment in order to create job opportunities and improve security- migrants within the labor age range wouldn’t need to leave their country of origin.

Global Affairs MĂŠxico 57



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*Organización Internacional para las Migraciones. 2006. “Glosario Sobre Migración”. Retrieved the 31 of May, 2015, from: free/IML_7_SP.pdf *Human Rights Watch. 2015. “Informe Mundial 2015, México”. Retrieved the 31 of May, 2015, from: *BBC, Adams, P. 2015. “7 gráficos para conocer los puntos calientes de la migración en el mundo”.Retrieved the 4 of June, 2015, from: *Carrasco Gonzalo. 2013. Alegatos núm. 83. México. “La migración centroamericana en su tránsito por México hacia los Estados Unidos” Retrieved the 4 of June, 2015, from: *Organización Internacional para las Migraciones, (s.f.). “Hechos y Cifras (2014)”. Retrieved the 4 of June, 2015, from: *Oficina del Alto Comisionado para los Derechos Humanos, 1980, “Convención internacional sobre la protección de los derechos de todos los trabajadores migratorios y de sus familiares” Retrieved the 4 of June, 2015, from: ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CMW.aspx *UNHCR. 2015. “Syria Regional Refugee Response, Inter-agency information sharing portal”. Retrieved the 4 of June, 2015, from: regional.php *Cámara de Diputados, H. Congreso de la Unión. 2015. “Boletín N°5421”. Retrieved the 4 of June, 2015, from: *Consejo Nacional de Población. (n.d.).”Regiones de Origen y destino de la migración México- Estados Unidos”. Retrieved the 4 of June, 2015, from: www.conapo.gob. mx/work/.../CONAPO/...migratoria/pdf/Regiones.pdf *Recomendaciones Internacionales a México en Materia de Derechos Humanos. Retrieved the 7 of June, 2015, from:


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*BBC, Alberto Nájar. 2015. “Mexico: las rutas de los migrantes que no pueden viajar en La Bestia”. Retrieved the 13 of June, 2015, from: mundo/noticias/2015/01/150116_migracion_mexico_centroamerica_nuevas_rutas_an *ZonaJ, Julián Carmona. (n.d.). “La Bestia el tren de la muerte”. Retrieved the 13 of June, 2015, from: *Recomendaciones Internacionales a México en Materia de Derechos Humanos. (s.f.). Informes. Retrieved the 13 of June, 2015, from: http://recomendacionesdh. mx/inicio/informes *Animal Político (n.d.). Menores Migrantes: México cierra la puerta a una generación que huye de la violencia. Retrieved the 13 of June, 2015, from: https:// *El Universal, Morales, A. 2011, “Al alza, tráfico de asiáticos y africanos vía México” Retrieved the 13 of June, 2015, from: primera/36874.html *La Jornada, 2012, “Se quedan en México 90% de los migrantes centroamericanos”. Retrieved the 13 of June, 2015, from: estados/037n1est *Presidencia de la Republica, 2014, “Pone en marcha el Presidente Peña Nieto el Programa Frontera Sur”, Retrieved the 13 of June, 2015, from: *Animal Político, (n.d.) “Programa Frontera Sur: una cacería de migrantes” Retrieved the 13 of June, 2015, from: *Reforma, 2014, “Critica ONG programa en frontera sur”. Retrieved the 13 of June, 2015, from: default.aspx?id=285083&urlredirect=


Volume 1~Issue 2



The Wall of Berlin: 25 years after Zaire Vargas Diaz



This article seeks to shed some light on the history of Germany, from World War I to the fall of the Berlin wall and the whole process that was carried out afterwards to rebuild the country as we know it today; that has positioned Germany as one of the most powerful countries in the world.

Translated to English from its original version in Spanish.

managed to rebuild itself entirely.


omething new has happened: For the first time in German history our fatherland is guided by a plan that considers only the needs of the people, and aims at building prosperity and reconstructing of our fatherland” -Walter Ulbricht.

GERMANY IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY Nowadays Germany is country that has evolved so much; its economy is high and its infrastructure is greatly developed; an innovative international actor, member of truly important international organizations; with a high quality of life and a life expectancy from 77 to 82 years. However, this country’s history has not always been prosperous. Germany is a country that for a long time got involved in terrible conflicts, the latter has left a heavy historic burden for Germany, hard to forget but not impossible to overcome. Hence, in only 25 years Germany has La actualidad de Alemania, “Historia y presente”, pág. 38

European dynamics have almost always been strongly affected by what happens with Germany; in the 19th century in a postwar context –between France and Prussia (the latter supported by all the German States)-, a chance for completing the unification of Germany was finally at hand on January 18, 1871, in the Hall of Mirrors of Versailles (Kissinger H., p.119); a fact that would entirely modify central Europe and the whole world. Later, in the early twentieth century between 1914 and 1918 the German empire joined Austria-Hungary to face France, Britain, Russia and Serbia; beginning the violent conflict known as World War I.1 Almost 15 million lives were taken during the war ; hence, Germany didn’t win the war and its military power suffered badly; the peace conditions imposed by the treaty of Versailles played a pivotal role for the breakout of World War II; at the same time great popular discontent was generated within Germany, which ended up causing a revolution. The latter forced the Emperor William II to abdicate, clearing the way for a democracy. Thereafter, a republic was created, proclaimed by Philipp Scheidemann a politician of the Social Democratic Party. This period, between 1918 and 1933 is commonly known as Weimar’s Republic, during that time the constituent



National Assembly reunited in order to create a new constitution; this period was extremely unstable, both politically and socially; in 1932 elections took place and they were won by the NAZI party; as a consequence Adolf Hitler gained power, he, who would later unleash World War II in 1939 by invading Poland; almost 60 million people died2 and approximately six million of them were Jewish.3 After a long and intense military conflict, in 1945, World War II gets to an end. From that moment on, Germany’s situation would only grow worse, due to the occupation of its territory by the victorious countries:

Wuerttemberg and from 1947 the administration of the American occupation zone joined the British occupation zone.

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At the Potsdam conference, the three victors had decided that Berlin would be governed by the four occupying powers –the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union- which would jointly administer Germany as well […] the four-power administration of Germany lasted little more than a year (Kissinger H., p. 568). •British occupation zone: formed of four states, which were Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Lower Saxony and the state of North Rhine and later the territory was given to the American occupation zone. •US occupation Zone: formed of the states of Bavaria, Hesse and Baden-

•French occupation zone: formed by three German states, Rhineland-Palatinate, southern Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern, this area kept an independent policy and did not keep much contact with the other zones of occupation. •Soviet Occupation Zone: This zone of occupation was the largest, it gathered five states: Thuringia, Saxony, SaxonyAnhalt, Brandenburg and MecklenburgVorpommern; those territories were very large and altogether had the same size of the three other zones of occupation. According to the four-power arrangement for Berlin, that city was not a part of Germany –East or West- but was officially under the rule of the four victorious Allies of World War II. The Soviets occupied a large sector in the eastern part of the city, the Americans had a sector in the south, and the British and French had theirs in the west and north (Kissinger H., p.568).

So the German territory was divided in two, the eastern part and the western part; on the one hand, the western powers: the Unites States, France and Great Britain, asked for the creation of a parliamentary democracy, while, on the other hand, the Soviet Union preferred socialism.

La actualidad de Alemania, “Historia y presente”, pág. 38. La actualidad de Alemania, “Historia y presente”, pág. 38. La actualidad de Alemania, “Historia y presente”, pág. 38

Later, on May 23rd, 1983 the Basic Law for the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) was promulgated.4 However, in the eastern zone and with the purpose of being a counterweight to the FRG, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was also created.5 So began a unarmed conflict between the two greatest world powers of that time, a long lasting battle between the United States and the Soviet Union; both seeking to develop the best technologic progress, in the face of a possible nuclear war. That period of time, marked a radical change in the international system, for it was the birth of a bipolar world.

the midst of the dismal grayness of the communist bloc (Kissinger H., p.569).

Global Affairs México

With the beginning of the Cold War, the soviets carried out an agrarian reform that was used to expropriate agricultural lands, enterprises and banks, in order to use them in their favor. The latter, among other things had no positive effects for the German people; many tried to escape from the German Democratic Republic, and desired to go to the western part; for that part seemed to have much better life quality, and also many families were kept apart. In this sense, the western part was seen as a symbol of freedom for some people who lived in the eastern part: As the years wore on, the East Germans and the Soviets found the three western sectors of Berlin to be a thorn in their side, a showcase of prosperity in Deutshland, “Los años 50”, pág. 6 2009. Deutshland, “Los años 50”, pág. 6 2009.

Due to that situation, between 1949 and 1961 almost 2,7 million people escaped from the GDR to the Federal Republic of Germany; as a consequence, the GDR decided to close the border crossing points and later on the Berlin Wall would be built, with the purpose of cutting all the roads that led to the west.

THE WALL THAT DIVIDED ATHE COUNTRY Approximately half a million people crossed the border between eastern and western Germany before the wall’s construction; only in 1960 around 200,000 people moved to the western side, and that affected gravely the GDR, both socially and economically. It was on August 12, 1961, that the Council of Ministers of the GDR announced that a wall would be built…On August 13th, at dawn, barriers started to rise, from east to west, and then all passage in the border was prohibited. In one night, streets, squares and homes were divided, due to the wall’s construction; public transport was also interrupted. That night the major Willy Brandt declared before the Chamber of Deputies: “The Senate of Berlin denounces before the international community, the illegal and inhuman measures practiced by those



who are dividing Germany, oppressing eastern Berlin and threatening western Berlin” (Brandt, 1961).

of the watchtowers, if one made contact with it, the alarm was triggered.

Global Affairs México

The construction of the wall went on, it had a total length of 155km6 and an interurban frontier between eastern and western Berlin, of about 43km7; as time went by, more and more materials and gadgets were used to fortify the wall8: • Concrete wall plates • 127 km of wire and electric fences • Control Strip • Lighting installations • 124 km of patrol roads • 259 canine surveillance zones • Signal devices • 302 Watchtowers • 20 bunkers The parts of the wall were:

•The control strip also called “death strip”, which was covered with sand to see traces of footprints and was illuminated by spotlights. •The road for patrol vehicles and supplies that passed through the entrance gates of the inner wall.

•Watchtowers that were controlled and coordinated by a command center, where there were commonly canine surveillance zones.

•The electric fence stood right in front

After the construction of the wall, many people tried to cross it, and many of them died; more than 600 people were executed by soldiers, or died due to different causes: suffocation, deadly accidents or suicide after being discovered.9


On November 9, 1989 Günter Schabowski a member of the leading political party in the German Democratic Republic and spokesman of the government, gathered an international press conference; during the conference Riccardo Ehrman a journalist for an Italian news agency (ANSA) in eastern Berlin, asked Schabowski: “Mr. Schabowski, don’t you think that this travelling law project [he referred to a regulation that allowed citizens of the GDR to spend 30 days a year abroad] is a big mistake?; Schabowski replied: today, we decided to adopt a regulation that makes it possible for all citizens to leave the GDR through border crossing spots”; the journalist asked once more: “when will it come into force?”;Schabowski replied: “[…] immediately”. However, that regulation was just a project and it had not been adopted yet, but Schabowski’s reply made it real. It was like that, in the less expected way that

Berlí, “Encerrados: El muro en cifras”. 7Berlí, “Encerrados: El muro en cifras” Berlí, “Encerrados: Estructuras de las instalaciones fronterizas”. 9Berlí, “Encerrados: Victimas del muro”

6 8

almost 1500 people went to the border10 , with the hope of seeing the gates open. Around 22:42pm a western news agency informed that the border had been opened; people who live in the western part and people from the GDR watched the news and in a matter of hours thousands of people gathered on both sided of the wall.11

Assembly of the United Nations, President George Bush said this:

Global Affairs México

Only a few hours ago, crossing the border meant a certain death, but the night of November 9, crossing the border meant something very different: the way to freedom, to their relatives or loved ones, people who hadn’t seen each other for almost 28 years. Also, many young people dared to climb the wall with hammers and other tools, and started to batter the wall to destroy it, and finally find on the other side the friendly hands that had disappeared 28 years ago. The fall of Berlin’s wall was one of the events that impacted our world the most, for it was the symbol of a time before and after the wall, it meant many things: it was a symbol of freedom for the citizens that lived separated for 28 years; the disintegration of the Soviet Union, one of the two world ruling powers. It began approximately in 1990 when Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia announced their independence, later on in 1991, Georgia, Russia, Armenia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova; on December 8 of the same year the Soviet Union disappeared.12 On October 1st, 1990, before the General

We have a vision of a new partnership of nations that transcends the Cold War. A partnership based on consultation, cooperation, and collective action, especially through international and regional organizations. A partnership united by principle and the rule of law and supported by an equitable sharing of both cost and commitment. A partnership whose goals are to increase democracy, increase prosperity, increase the peace and reduce the arms.13

However, it was thought that with the end of the Cold War conflicts would be over and that the world would then live an era of peace, which didn’t happen; many new conflicts appeared on the international arena, in the form of asymmetric threats like terrorism, drug dealing, organized crime, among others. These new threats sometimes begin as national issues and as they spread they manage to affect the international security; the States have had to adapt and evolve in order to face these conflicts; the bipolar era has been left behind, making room for the new globalized multipolar world. We can read the following analysis made by Henry Kissinger in his book “Diplomacy”:

Deutshland,“Una pregunta hace caer al muro”, pág. 39, 2009. 11Deutshland,”Una pregunta hace caer al muro”, pág. 39, 2009 Kelufasuan Histórico, ”Desintegración de la URSS” 13 President George Bush, “The U.N.: World Parliament of Peace” in “Diplomacy”, p.804, 805. 1990

10 12



In the post-Cold War world, there is no overriding ideological challenge or, at this writing, single geostrategic confrontation. Almost every situation is a special case. Exceptionalism inspired America’s foreign policy and gave the United States the fortitude to prevail in the Cold War. But it will require far more subtle applications in the multipolar world of the twentieth-first century (p.803).

supervised by the Federal Constitutional Court- (La actualidad de Alemania, p. 58). Germany is formed of 16 states; The Federal President is Joachim Gauck who has been in office since 2012 and is described by The Wall Street Journal as:

Global Affairs México


After the fall of Berlin’s Wall, Germany was finally set free and it was then when the struggle to build a prosperous country began.

Right after the wall’s fall Germany was reunified, the German Democratic Republic was added to the Federal Republic of Germany; shortly after the “Two-plus-four” treaty was signed; it established that the GDR, the FRG and the four occupying powers in Germany agreed with the German unification. Later, on October 3rd, 1991 the Basic Law authorized the unification (Deutschland, 2009).

The Federal Republic of Germany was finally unified as a democratic State. Democracy (and other founding principles) along with the fundamental rights, form the core of the German constitution –the fulfillment of the constitution is

Law that rejects protectionism and political intervention.


“The last of a breed: the leaders of protest movements behind the Iron Curtain who went on to lead their countries after 1989“ (The Gauck file, 2012, p.14). The federal chancellor since 2005 is Angela Merkel; she has been catalogued by Forbes as the most powerful woman in the world. Since 1989, Germany has focused on developing different areas: economy, foreign policy, environment, energy, education, investigation, society and culture. Nowadays, one of the most important things when we talk about Germany is its economy, due to some reasons: •A key part of the economic activity is free competition, which is protected by the German Antitrust law14 (La Actualidad de Alemania, p.92). The combination of all those factors, places Germany as the world’s largest exporting country, with comparative advantages in different fields: investigation and development, taxes and contributions, mobility and logistics, transports and staff qualifications. •Furthermore, the Federal Government

is advised by independent experts; Every January the Federal Government presents to the Bundestag15 and Bundesrat16 an annual economic report that contains the objects and the essential elements of its economic and financial policy.

•United Nations: Germany has been member of this organization since 1973 and it is the third largest contributor to the UN budget 8%.18 Today, the country hosts 19 organizations of the United Nations.19

Germany is a leader in the automotive market with brands such as Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, BMW, Porsche and Audi. In addition to other global brands such as: Nivea, Siemens, SAP, Adidas and Allianz.

•Germany is also member of other organizations such as: The Organization of the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO), The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), World Bank (WB), The International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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As a developed country, a world power, a global economy and head of the European Union, Germany has a key role in the world and is a member of important organizations such as:

•International cooperation: in collaboration with its European and transatlantic partners, Germany is committed to peace, democracy and human rights worldwide. Germany is a member of the main European and international organizations. (La actualidad de Alemania, p.10). •European Union: Germany is a founding member of the European Union and provides around 26,600 million Euros17 to this organization; approximately 20%, which places this country as the largest contributor.

Foreign operations: The Bundeswehr (Federal Armed Forces) participates in international missions: peacekeeping missions, humanitarian and stabilization operations that are deployed under the mandate of the United Nations and conducted under the frame of NATO and the EU (La actualidad de Alemania, p.10). In the environmental field, Germany has also innovated and developed technology like the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions or carbon emissions, energy intensity and wind energy –Germany has the biggest market in the world concerning wind energy-. Also, Germany develops green technologies and it’s in favor of international climate cooperation.

German lower house of parliament and supreme federal legislative organ. German upper house of parliament and federal constitutional body. 18 La actualidad de Alemania, “Cifras y datos”, pág. 10 19 La actualidad de Alemania, “Cifras y datos”, pág. 10 19 La actualidad de Alemania, “Cifras y datos: Alemania en el mundo” 16 17



Having provided an overview of how Germany has evolved over the years, we can conclude that now Germany is still a very important country, not only to mainland Europe as it was in the 19th and 20th century, but also globally; It is one of the leading countries of the European Union and therefore the international spotlight settles on this country multiple times. It has the title of being one of the top world economies, although it has not always been this way; Germany is a country that survived a 28-year physical and economical division that in the end led to the unification of the country.

Global Affairs MĂŠxico

How do people in Germany live 25 years after the fall of the wall? The true fact about Germany is that it is a prosperous country, with a bright future. A dynamic Germany that is moving forward, and making its way through international markets, and engaging –like all the other countries- the phenomenon of globalization and interdependence of today’s world.


Global Affairs México

* “Cifras y hechos: Estructuras de las instalaciones fronterizas”. Retrieved the 8 of June, 2015, from: * “La construcción del muro de Berlín”. Retrieved the 8 of June, 2015, from: * Deutschland. 2ª ed. Fráncfort del Meno, Alemania: Societats- Verlag, 2009. Retrieved the 11 of June, 2015. *Kissinger H. 1994. Diplomacy. United States of America. ISBN 0-671-65991-x. * La Actualidad de Alemania. Fráncfort del Meno, Alemania: Societats- Verlag, 2007. Retrieved the 14 of June, 2015. * La Actualidad de Alemania. (2010/2011) “Cifras y hechos: Alemania en el mundo”. Retrieved the 9 of June, 2015, from: * Historias del siglo XX. “Historia de las relaciones internacionales durante el siglo XX: Plan Marshall”. Recuperado el 8 de 25 de Junio del 2015, de: http://www. * Kelufausan histórico. “La desintegración de la URSS”. Retrieved the 17 of June, 2015, from:



GA Mexico

Profile for Global Affairs Mexico

Global Affairs Mexico, volume 1, issue 2  

July's issue: Interview with Director General of UNESCO Mrs. Irina Bokova, Professor Nayef Al- Rodhan and Professor Mark Aspinwall.

Global Affairs Mexico, volume 1, issue 2  

July's issue: Interview with Director General of UNESCO Mrs. Irina Bokova, Professor Nayef Al- Rodhan and Professor Mark Aspinwall.