Mexico in Peacekeeping Operations: A Late and Controversial Decision

October 23, 2014

10/20/14 by Olga Pellicer, Mexico Institute Expert Take

In a recent intervention at the general debate of the United Nations’ General Assembly, President Peña Nieto unveiled a decision that had long been awaited by scholars working on Mexican foreign policy. In a cautious manner, emphasizing that this would be done in “accordance with the normative principles established in our Constitution”, he announced that Mexico would now participate in the United Nations’ Peacekeeping Operations (PKO’s).

In fact, this is not Mexico’s first experience with PKO’s. The best-known instance involved the deployment of 120 policemen in El Salvador as part of ONUSAL, which remains as one of the most paradigmatic examples of the new generation of PKO’s that arose after the end of the Cold War.  These gradually acquired multiple responsibilities have quietly re-interpreted certain principles of the UN’s Charter, such as those relating to non-intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of  States.

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For Spanish version…

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Three Keys to Understand the 2015 Budget Debate in Mexico

October 23, 2014

By Christopher Wilson and Pedro Valenzuela

(Originally posted on Forbes.com)

Each fall, Mexico’s Congress debates the administration’s budget proposal. It was sent to Congress by the Peña Nieto administration in September, and a final version must be passed no later than the end of October to authorize revenue streams and by November 15 to detail expenditures. This is the first budget debate since Mexico’s 2013 fiscal reform was implemented, offering an important opportunity to analyze the impact of the tax policy changes on public income, and consequently, also on expenditures. The administration’s proposal represents a real increase of 1.2%, which, according to the government, will provide the funds to implement the structural reforms and fund new infrastructure and social programs.[1] As a result of the increased spending and a dip in petroleum revenue, the government will continue to run a deficit, and Mexico’s public debt will continue to grow. Each of these three issues—tax collection, public expenditure, and the national debt—are explored in this article, all in the context of Mexico’s structural reforms and brightening yet somewhat volatile economic prospects.

At the time of publication, the revenue proposal, which must be passed by both houses of congress, had been approved by the Chamber of Deputies and was in committee in the Senate. The Senate is expected to move the bill to the floor and approve the final version during the last week of October.[2] The Chamber of Deputies made moderate changes to the executive proposal, including an increase in the expected exchange rate from 13 to 13.4 pesos per U.S. dollar and a drop in the expected reference price for oil from $82 to $81 dollars per barrel.[3] After the ley de ingresos, or revenue law, is passed, attention will turn to the ley de egresos, the budget of expenditures, which only needs to be approved by simple majority in the lower house.

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[1] Presidencia de la República (September 5 2014). Presentación de la Propuesta del Paquete Económico 2015. Retrieved from  http://bit.ly/1yg6TNx

[2] -, (2014, October 21). El Senado aprobaría minuta de Ley de Ingresos sin cambios. El Economista. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1FD7mOL

[3]  -, (2014, October 17). Envían al Senado la Ley de Ingresos. Excelsior. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1sPyDH1


Mexican Military Executed at Least 12, Federal Panel Says

October 22, 2014

10/21/14 New York Times 

crime sceneThe federal Human Rights Commission reported on Tuesday that Mexican soldiers had executed at least 12 people, and probably 15, in late June after a supposed shootout with gang suspects, contradicting official military accounts. The commission’s president, Raúl Plascencia, said the scene of the killings in the small town of Tlatlaya, where 22 people were reported to have died on June 30, had been altered. Bodies had been moved at the rural warehouse, he said, to suggest that everyone was killed in a shootout — the initial explanation from the Defense Department. In fact, the commission found, most of the people had surrendered before they were shot and killed.

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America Movil Asset Buyer Needs Independence Beyond Finances

October 22, 2014

10/22/14 Bloomberg 

using smartphoneSuitors for America Movil SAB (AMXL)’s assets in Mexico will have to prove they are completely independent — beyond just making sure there are no direct financial ties, according to the president of the country’s telecommunications regulator. Historical relationships and personal ties will also need to be examined, said the official, Gabriel Contreras. That may potentially put the onus onAT&T Inc. (T), which America Movil has contacted about buying parts of its Mexican mobile and landline units, people with knowledge of the matter said last month.

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Mexico’s Gulf Cartel Drug Kingpin Captured in Texas

October 22, 2014

10/21/14 Bloomberg 

hands in handcuffsThe reputed head of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel drug trafficking ring was nabbed by federal agents during a shopping trip in southTexas in the latest in a series of arrests this year on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. The capture of Juan Francisco Saenz-Tamez, 23, on Oct. 9 follows the arrest in February of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who was the world’s most-wanted drug boss and the alleged head of the Sinaloa drug cartel.

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U.S. West Coast Coal Exports Rise as Mexico to China Buy

October 22, 2014

10/21/14 Bloomberg

energy- oil pumps 2Coal exports from the U.S. West Coast rose to the highest in more than a decade amid demand from Mexico and Asia, providing a market for the power-plant fuel amid lower domestic consumption. Shipments from the western U.S. are up 35 percent to about 5 million tons through the first six months of this year, led by an almost six-fold jump in cargoes leaving San Francisco, according to the Energy Information Administration. That comes even as nationwide exports have fallen 15 percent.

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Mexico Exchange Chief Executive Tellez Resigns as Offerings Drop

October 22, 2014

10/21/14 Bloomberg 

financeLuis Tellez is stepping down as chairman and chief executive officer ofMexico’s stock exchange at the end of the year. Bolsa Mexicana de Valores SA didn’t name Tellez’s replacement in a filing today or say what his plans would be after he leaves. He didn’t immediately respond to a request seeking comment sent through the bourse’s press office.

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