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Around $1 trillion are laundered every year in Mexico
Around $1 trillion are laundered every year in Mexico
David Santa Cruz

MEXICO CITY - My neighborhood dealer was a low-class guy. We went to the same public school, but he was few years younger than me.

He was never very bright nor did he excel in anything; he spent his afternoons standing outside his house or at the street corner, without bothering anyone, and with no one bothering him. I would even venture to say that he was a peaceful guy but with a low profile, almost a ghost. That is why his dream job was to become a drug dealer. I doubt he had a very extensive knowledge about criminal culture, or even aspired to be a “capo” (mafia or drug cartel kingpin), but his drug business kept growing.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Inside Russia’s Revival Of Stalinist “Filtration Camps”

Though different than concentration camps constructed by Nazis, the “filtration” facilities nevertheless recalls a brutal history, and have been reopened under Putin, and ramped up since the invasion of Ukraine.

Civilians leaving Mariupol on foot

Anna Akage

"It was like a true concentration camp."

This is how Oleksandr, a 49-year-old man from Mariupol, described where he and his wife Olena were taken in by Russian security officers. Speaking to a reporter for the BBC, the couple was fingerprinted, photographed and interrogated for hours, and their phones searched for material that could somehow identify them as “Nazis.”

But there is another name given to that these locations, and the process, that have been set up to handle Ukrainians taken into custody in areas occupied by pro-Russian separatists: They’re called: “filtration camps.”

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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