As vigilante drama in violence-plagued Michoacan, Mexico continues, the state government has proposed placing former military commanders at the head of municipal police forces in a bid to improve local security.
Head of the State Public Security Council Armando Ballinas Mayes said 10 Michoacan mayors have already agreed to the measure, which could be trialed in two weeks. Among those in support of the idea are the municipalities of Los Reyes, Tepalcatepec, Tacambaro and Buenavista and others in the violent Tierra Caliente (Hot Country) region of the state, reported El Universal.
Ballinas noted that some municipal heads were against the proposal, as they "do not want to lose control of security in their municipalities," while El Universal reported that interim Governor Jesus Reyna Garcia had also rejected the idea.
The announcement comes as ongoing drama with local vigilante forces continues to …
China's farmland is shrinking. Despite the country's immense geographical footprint, there just isn't that much to go around. Between 1997 and 2008, China saw 6.2 percent of its farmland engulfed by what the government calls "planned ecological cropland conversion," the FAO/OECD report states. As this 2011 paper from the Land Deals Politics Initiative (LDPI) shows, industrialization and sprawl have driven a substantial amount of recent farmland loss.
"The United States has six times the arable land per capita as China. Today, the FAO/OECD report states, China has just 0.09 hectares of arable land per capita—less than half of the global average and a quarter of the average for OECD member countries.
A fifth of China's land is polluted. The FAO/OECD report gingerly calls this problem the "declining trend in soil quality." Fully 40 percent of China's arable land has been degraded by some combination of erosion, salinization, or acidification—and…