Immigration, Energy Reform & Protests – Weekly News Summary: June 21

Coffee by Flikr user samrevelThe Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.

What the English-language press had to say…        

This week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a study that concluded the current Senate immigration bill would reduce the federal deficit by $150 billion during the first 10 years and by another $700 billion over the second decade. The Washington Post interpreted the report as yet further proof that immigrants are “strivers, and not burdens” on the American economy. In response to conservative opposition to reform, moderate Republican senators proposed doubling the number of Border Patrol agents to 40,000 – a ‘human fence’ between the U.S. and Mexico. According to The Christian Science Monitor, the compromise could give the bill enough momentum when it comes to a final vote in the Senate next week. The Economist, however, argued the border is already secure enough, and warned that further spending on fences and drones could do more harm than good.

President Enrique Peña Nieto said he is negotiating with political forces within Mexico to break the state monopoly over oil in order to boost economic growth and expects to have an energy reform bill ready by September. Political support within the framework of the Pacto por México, he said, should ensure the bill is approved by year’s end. Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal reported widely on the subject.

In terms of security, Foreign Affairs looked at the rise of self-defense vigilante groups south of the border. The Los Angeles Times was optimistic about Mazatlan’s tourism outlook. Both Forbes and the LA Times debated whether security has deteriorated in Mexico City.

What Mexican columnists had to say…

Regarding Margarita Arellanes’ (mayor of Monterrey) recent remarks, Jesús Silva Herzog-Márquez states that since she was elected by a wide and religiously diverse community, she should show respect to such a community through neutrality. Writing about Monterrey as well, Jorge Fernández Menéndez wrote about how that city has managed to overcome the security crisis they had in recent years.

On the potential energy reform, Leo Zuckerman argued that in order to implement it, President Peña Nieto will have to overcome a huge political challenge, perhaps the greatest of all he has had during his term, in the face of divided opinions among political forces about the energy sector. Jorge Fernández Menéndez wrote that Peña Nieto’s recent statements demonstrate the president’s confidence on the reforms to succeed; otherwise, he would not have announced them during the G8 meeting. Carlos Elizondo Mayer-Serra argued that if President Peña Nieto wants to take advantage of the so-called Mexico Moment, he has a single option: a deep and well-made reform in the hydrocarbon sector. For Sergio Aguayo Peña Nieto had a good start as a president, since he has shattered stereotypes, championing major reforms and triggering a revolution in expectations.

In the context of the recent protests in Brazil, Leon Krauze pointed to the awareness of the “millennial generation” as a major driver. These Brazilians, he argues, grew in a country whose progress has been sufficient to promote the surge of a young middle-class which demands better services from the state. For Jorge G. Castañeda, what might change following the recent events would be the Brazilian perception or Brazilian mirage that never should have acquired the dimensions it did.

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