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Along Turkey's Border, Smugglers Supply Syrian Refugees And Rebels

Up close with Syrian smugglers and Western NGOs. Turkish troops turn blind eye to arms trafficking, but worries grow about who is getting their hands on the weapons.

A Syrian refugee center on the Turkish border
A Syrian refugee center on the Turkish border
Boris Mabillard

ANTAKYA - Sitting at the back of the restaurant, they try to be discrete. But their gear and clothes give them away: they are foreigners, anyone can tell.

In the Turkish city of Antakya, situated some 20 kilometers from the Syrian border, the relief workers try to avoid the attention of the Turkish authorities, and the local media. Despite the fact that Ankara is supporting the Syrian rebellion and hosting many of its refugees, the government has still not given its official approval to cross-border humanitarian operations. Still, border guards continue to turn a blind eye to it.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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