Monday, March 15, 2010

U.S. Consular Official Killed Returning from Mexico


I'd worried in print three weeks ago about Mexican traffickers retaliating against U.S. targets, now that the U.S. is becoming more involved in Mexican efforts to target the gangs. Now it appears that a U.S. consular official, Lesley Enriquez, and husband Arthur Redelfs were intercepted by an armed gang and shot dead on Saturday afternoon.

The couple were returning home to El Paso from a child's birthday party across the border in Ciudad Juarez; the attackers spared the couple's own infant.

Random violence? Could be, except that a Mexican man driving a similar car--the husband of a Mexican national who also works at the consulate in CJ--left the same party that afternoon and he, too, was shot dead. His two kids are wounded.

The FBI is investigating. President Calderon will come by to show the flag on Tuesday, brimming with American support. The consulate will be closed the same day for a period of mourning. Meanwhile, folks at U.S. consulates in Mexico would be advised to stop driving white SUVs for the duration.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Philip Seib Critiques State's New PD Plan


USC CPD head Philip Seib describes State's new PD roadmap as "so lacking in imagination, so narrow in its scope, and so insufficient in its appraisal of the tasks facing U.S. public diplomats that it is impossible to understand why its preparation took so many months."

And he's just getting warmed up. Ouch.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Urgent Evoke

Alternate-reality game designer Jane McGonigal has a new one: Urgent Evoke, a World Bank-sponsored ARG that attempts to port the addictive qualities of games such as Mafia Wars and Farmville to the social-innovation realm. Planning to give it a look and take it for a spin, given that what I've read so far makes players feel that they're a sort of Mission Impossible super-agent, but without the international killings and kidnappings. Stay tuned.
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