October 31, 2013
Despite the drug war and immigration morass, America’s southern neighbor is on the cusp of its greatest economic transformation in a century, thanks to the courageous oil reforms of its new president, Enrique Peña Nieto.
It has been another year of horrible headlines for Mexico. Three hurricanes wracked the country, causing historic floods that killed hundreds and caused billions in damage. The drug war continues, with more than 60,000 killed since 2006 as cartels vie for their cut of $10 billion a year in narco-cash. More than 200,000 illegal immigrants from Mexico are still deported by the U.S. each year. And after rebounding from the 2008 crash, and even luring away manufacturing jobs from China, Mexico has seen its annual economic growth rate sag to less than 1.5%.
October 29, 2013
The agreement on a political reform bill by the three main political parties in Mexico will likely prove crucial for the approval of the planned energy and fiscal reforms, said Nomura Securities in a research note.
Nomura sees political reform as a “bridge” to energy and fiscal reforms and if the bridge collapses, “fiscal or energy reforms would not be implemented.”
One of the chief obstacles for political reform has been that each party has its own version of measures and changes that such a reform should include, the investment bank said. It also noted that divisions within some parties have also translated into several proposals for a political reform.
October 24, 2013
The Hill, 10/24/2013
If U.S. officials wanted to learn how government can operate well in modern times, all they need to do is look south. Mexico’s executive and legislative leaders are demonstrating how bipartisan cooperation can make great progress for the benefit of their people.
After enacting major reforms in telecom, broadcasting, education, labor relations and the governance of public institutions earlier this year, the Mexican Congress is now moving to reform its fiscal and energy laws. The combination is a model of progressive legislating that, in the end, will undoubtedly improve Mexico’s economic competitiveness.
September 19, 2013
When Vice-President Joseph Biden travels to Mexico this week to meet with the country’s new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, he will not be speaking with an enlightened democratic leader but a representative of the nation’s corrupt oligarchy. The widespread image of Peña Nieto as a bold reformist struggling against the forces of nostalgic reaction is about as accurate as Vladimir Putin’s presentation of Bashar al-Assad as a distinguished statesman.
After only ten months in power, Peña Nieto has driven the economy into a wall, ignited widespread social protest, ramped up human rights violations and allowed violence and corruption to spin out of control. These failures have expanded the chasm between the political class and civil society in a way that makes Mexico increasingly look like Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador before the rise of Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales and Rafael Correa. The levels of citizen trust in government have reached record lows and enormous protests led by teachers, students and peasants have erupted throughout the country.
September 13, 2013
by Dolia Estevez, Poder360, September 2013
The Mexican Ambassador oversees the multi-faceted relationship between Mexico and the United States and sustains that the northern neighbor “understands and respects” the centralization of the anti-narcotics cooperation.
August 15, 2013
By Mark R. Kennedy, The Huffington Post, 8/14/2013
The biggest surprise from my recent visit to Mexico was how wide the gap is between how most Americans perceive our neighbor to the south and the reality of what it is today.
The view of Mexico from the United States seems to either fixate on the struggles we have along the border or the attractiveness of their seemingly endless number of magnificent beaches. The truth is that in between that challenging border and inviting beaches lies a country of 116 million enterprising people on the move. The United States ignores that reality to its detriment.
Five experiences from my trip highlight aspects of Mexico that most Americans ignore.
August 12, 2013
By Chris Wilson and Gerardo Silva, 8/12/2013
In July, Mexico’s National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL) released new statistics on poverty in Mexico. They show that Mexico’s poverty rate fell slightly between 2010 and 2012, dropping 0.6 percent, from 46.1 percent to 45.5 percent. Nonetheless, during the same period the number of people living in poverty actually increased from 52.8 million to 53.3 million, since the overall population of Mexico grew from 114.5 million in 2010 to 117.3 million in 2012. The results, then, are mixed. The poverty rate declined, yet the number of poor increased. Extreme poverty, on the other hand, clearly declined. Both the number and percentage of Mexicans living in extreme poverty fell between 2010 and 2012, from 13.0 million (11.3 percent) in 2010 to 11.5 million (9.8 percent) in 2012.
Still, a deeper look into the components of Mexico’s multidimensional poverty measurements reveals a troubling issue. Despite the overall decline in poverty shown with the multidimensional measure, poverty as measured solely by income continues to rise. That is, even as access to things like education, housing, and healthcare improve, and even as the overall economy is growing, Mexico’s poor are not seeing their incomes rise as quickly as prices. This short article will first briefly explain the various components of Mexico’s poverty measurements and will then explore some potential explanations for the contradicting trends in income‐based poverty and multidimensional poverty.
To view the rest of the article read the PDF
August 7, 2013
By Christopher Wilson, 8/7/2013
Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez, once the country’s most violent city, has seen violence drop dramatically in the last three years. The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Christopher Wilson explores whether the current government can do the same with Nuevo Laredo, the current epicenter of violence along the border.
In early 2010, as violence in Ciudad Juarez skyrocketed, former Mexican president Felipe Calderon declared that the 15 young people who had been gunned down at a celebration following a youth league baseball game were themselves criminals, that in a certain sense they had it coming. He was wrong, and the parents of the victims made sure he would not forget it.
To view the rest of the article read the PDF.
August 7, 2013
By Dwight Dyer and Gavin Strong, Forbes, 8/6/2013
Though largely off the radar north of the Rio Grande, last month’s local elections in Mexico provide an opportunity to read the political tea leaves south of the border. As the first elections in President Enrique Peña Nieto’s term, the local polls in thirteen states and the gubernatorial contest in Baja California provide a partial picture of the electorate’s view of Peña Nieto’s first seven months in office.
The results were a mild rebuke of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which won approximately 55% of the posts contested, but suffered a net loss of 42 mayoralties—leaving a total of five million fewer citizens under PRI governments. However, the party is ahead in ten state assemblies, which will ease the eventual approval of constitutional changes considered in the upcoming energy reform. The results also highlighted the weakness of the major opposition parties following the 2012 presidential elections, given that they could only score important victories by running in coalition.
May 10, 2013
By George E. Condon Jr., National Journal, 5/9/2013
President George W. Bush was the picture of confidence as he sat in the Roosevelt Room talking to a small group of reporters about the upcoming visit of Mexican President Vicente Fox. Sipping on a Diet Coke and loudly crunching ice on this September day in 2001, Bush proclaimed the start of a new era in U.S. relations with its neighbor to the south. “The United States has no more important relationship in the world than the one we have with Mexico,” he declared firmly. Seven days later, terrorists struck in New York City and Washington, and that relationship suddenly didn’t seem quite as important as the alliances with countries ready to send troops to support American aims. U.S.-Mexico was shoved unceremoniously into the background. And Fox, who did not back the U.S. at the United Nations when Bush wanted to go to war with Iraq, found he could no longer get his phone calls returned by the White House.
It was a dramatic reminder that events—more than even presidents—set agendas. And it is a lesson with some relevance to President Obama, who traveled to Mexico last week and repeated some of the now-expected promises to elevate U.S.-Mexican relations in the foreign policy hierarchy. No one doubts the president’s sincerity. He understands the growing importance of trade with Mexico and with the Central American countries, whose leaders he met with last week in Costa Rica. In fact, a main purpose of the trip was to shift attention from the issues of drug cartels, crime, and violence that dominated earlier hemispheric summits. That repositioning came even amid indications that newly elected Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is reconsidering some security cooperation with the United States.