Billionaire Slim’s Workers Stage Walkout in Support of Students

November 20, 2014

11/20/14 Bloomberg 

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP - Getty Images

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP – Getty Images

Employees of billionaire Carlos Slim’s telephone company plan to join relatives of 43 missing college students to protest the government’s response to the mass disappearance in Iguala, Mexico. The union at America Movil SAB (AMXL)’s Telmex landline unit will hold a 24-hour walkout and called on members to join demonstrators in Mexico City’s central square, union chief Francisco Hernandez said. The marches are scheduled for this afternoon. “We can’t turn our gaze away and pretend this doesn’t concern us,” Hernandez said in a video message to Telmex employees yesterday. “We have to look for solutions not just for the disappeared young people so that this tragedy never happens again, but also to lead this country on a path to have justice, to eradicate impunity and corruption.”

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Special Report: Plant with troubled past at center of Takata air bag probe

November 20, 2014

11/20/14 Reuters 

REUTERS/Daniel Becerril/Files

REUTERS/Daniel Becerril/Files

The dusty, industrial town of Ciudad Frontera,Mexico, has moved from the far reaches of the global auto supply chain to the front lines of an investigation into why air bags from Takata Corp are blowing up with lethal force in accidents. The Takata plant there has been confirmed as the source of defective air bags made in 2001 and 2002 and again around 2012, according to recall records, automakers and regulators. In 2006, the factory blew up, driving home for workers and residents the volatility and risk of the explosive compound at the core of Takata’s air bags. Now, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has ordered Tokyo-based Takata Corp (7312.T) to submit a wide array of records, including those pertaining to manufacturing controls at the Mexican plant, as part of an investigation into why its air bags have shot shrapnel at drivers in five fatal accidents from Oklahoma to Malaysia.

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Take Mexico off the ‘safe list,’ immigration protesters urge

November 20, 2014

11/19/14 Leader Post

canada mexicoRaul Gatica Bautista fled Mexico for Canada in 2005 with a bullet wound in his stomach and scarring on his face, grim testaments to the abuse the indigenous rights activist says he suffered at the hands of the Mexican police. Canada accepted him as a refugee then, but Gatica Bautista says this country would turn him away today because of changes last year that placed Mexico on a list of 42 countries deemed safe by the federal government. Asylum seekers from these countries have fewer appeal options and are deported faster than refugee claimants from other countries. On Wednesday, Gatica-Bautista and groups of protesters in several cities called on the federal government to take Mexico off the so-called “safe list,” citing the recent disappearance and possible massacre of 43 teaching students in rural Mexico and the ongoing persecution of indigenous rights activists. The group No One is Illegal has launched a similar petition.

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Mexico at breaking point as anti-government anger escalates

November 20, 2014

11/19/14 The Guardian 

AFP

AFP

Mexico is facing an escalating political crisis amid growing fury over a mansion built for the presidential family and the disappearance and probable massacre of 43 student teachers. The two apparently unrelated issues have fed the widespread perception that unbridled political corruption is the underlying cause of the country’s many problems – ranging from stunted economic growth to a breakdown of law and order that has left parts of the country at the mercy of murderous drug cartels. “The drama of Mexico is about impunity,” said leading political commentator Jesús Silva-Herzog. “This is not about the popularity or unpopularity of the president, that is irrelevant. It is about credibility and trust and, at its root, it is about legitimacy.”

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BMW says its Takata inflator work moving from Mexico to Germany

November 20, 2014

11/19/14 Reuters

Washauto06_bmw_325_AudeVivereTakata plans to shift production of BMW air bag inflators from Mexico to Germany, the automaker said on Wednesday in a filing with U.S. safety regulators who have been probing questions about the quality of manufacturing at the plant. Automakers that use the Takata inflators, including Toyota Motor Corp, warned that it was not feasible to switch to other suppliers to meet demand for replacement parts. The Takata inflators are at risk of blowing up with too much force and spraying occupants with metal shrapnel. Germany’s BMW said in a filing posted online by U.S. safety regulators that it is supporting efforts by Takata to shift inflator production from its plant in Monclova, Mexico, to another Takata plant in Freiberg, Germany. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Takata inflators linked to at least five deaths.

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Texas to draw down guard troops on border in early 2015: official

November 20, 2014

11/19/14 Reuters 

Border fence by couchlearnerTexas plans to begin winding down its deployment of state National Guard troops to the border with Mexico around March or April of next year, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst told reporters on Wednesday. State leaders on Tuesday requested $86.1 million in spending from Dec. 1 through August for the border deployment that includes up to 1,000 National Guard troops. Dewhurst said at a news conference at the capitol in Austin that while the National Guard presence is being drawn down, there would be an enhanced presence of Department of Public Safety officers along the border, the Austin American-Statesman reported. “The surge is working,” Dewhurst, a Republican, said.

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Democracia a diferentes velocidades

November 18, 2014

11/17/14 La Silla Rota

Andrew Selee, Vicepresidente Ejecutivo del Centro Woodrow Wilson en Washington y colaborador del Instituto México.

andrew-selee-nprCuando los académicos hablaban de la democratización unos años atrás, siempre parecía como si fuera un carro automático, en que un país pasara por etapas más o menos comunes desde iniciar con las elecciones competitivas (arrancando en primera) hasta consolidarse como un país moderno y plural (a toda velocidad, con el estado de derecho, transparencia y rendición de cuentas). Hoy sabemos que las democracias se parecen más bien a carros manuales, en que hay que ir, con mucho esfuerzo, cambiando velocidades poco a poco, para ir acelerando hacia una sociedad en que los ciudadanos se sienten fielmente representados y en control de su gobierno. Y en el caso mexicano, y quizá de cualquier país grande, la democracia ni siquiera se parece a un carro manual, sino más bien una autopista con muchos carros manuales, cada uno en su propia velocidad, algunos acelerando muy rápido y otros estancados o quizás hasta echándose en reversa.

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