New Ties Emerge Between Mexico Government and Builder

December 12, 2014

12/11/2014 The Wall Street Journal

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto and first lady Angelica Rivera salute during the military parade celebrating Independence Day at the Zocalo square in downtown Mexico CityMexico’s finance minister bought a home from a prominent government contractor who is at the center of influence-peddling allegations roiling President Enrique Peña Nieto ’s administration, documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal show.

Property records show that the minister, Luis Videgaray, widely seen as the driving force behind Mexico’s recent economic overhauls, bought the house in an exclusive golf resort outside the picturesque town of Malinalco, in the central State of Mexico, from Bienes Raíces H&G SA.

The firm, commercial records show, is owned by Juan Armando Hinojosa, whose companies have won hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of public-works projects during Mr. Peña Nieto’s time as governor of the State of Mexico and during his current administration.

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Innovation in Mexico: Can Media Lab S21 Expand Spanish Language Communication?

December 8, 2014

12/4/14 Wilson Center CONTEXT

The MIT Media Lab has set the standard for creating “disruptive technologies” that lead to innovation. A new start up project, Mexico Media Lab S21, is attempting to achieve similar success in the areas of communication, technology, and innovation. Its founder, a former journalist, sees an opportunity to increase Spanish language content on the web, not only in Mexico, but globally as well.

Click here to watch the video.

Read the Mexico Institute‘s newest publication Fostering Innovation in Mexico.

Guests
Nicholas Negroponte is founder and chairman of the One Laptop per Child non-profit association. He was co-founder and director of the MIT Media Lab, and the Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Technology. A graduate of MIT, Negroponte was a pioneer in the field of computer-aided design, and has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1966. Conceived in 1980, the Media Lab opened its doors in 1985. He is also author of the 1995 best seller, Being Digital, which has been translated into more than 40 languages. In the private sector, Negroponte serves on the board of directors for Motorola, Inc. and as general partner in a venture capital firm specializing in digital technologies for information and entertainment. He has provided start-up funds for more than 40 companies, including Wired magazine.

Rossana Fuentes-Berain is the founder of Start Up Mexico Media Lab S21, a media lab dedicated to studying communication among those that will define the 21st century. Prior to her current role, which she began in September 2014, she was the editorial vice president of Grupo Expansión. Before becoming vice president, Fuentes-Berain worked as the director of the opinion section in El Universal, the assistant director for research and special affairs in the newspaper Reforma, and the first female editor of the business section in El Financiero. She has coauthored a number of books and has written for international newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, among others. Fuentes-Berain has worked in television as a host for Televisa’s Contrapunto and as a professor at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). Additionally, she was a founder and member of the Editorial Board of Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica (formerly known as Foreign Affairs en español).


Mexico conservative party leader Madero stands down temporarily

October 1, 2014

09/30/14 Reuters

panThe leader of Mexico’s biggest opposition party is stepping aside temporarily to seek a congressional seat next year at which time he could resume his post as party leader. Gustavo Madero, head of the center-right National Action Party (PAN), was immediately replaced at the helm by his deputy, the party said in a post on Twitter on Tuesday. Madero has been grappling with an internal power struggle over how far his party should have cooperated with President Enrique Pena Nieto’s centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party on a wide-ranging economic reform agenda. The PAN’s new interim president is 35-year-old Ricardo Anaya, previously the party’s second-ranking official as well as a former federal congressman who served as president of Mexico’s lower chamber of Congress earlier this year.

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México: emboscan vehículo militar y matan a cuatro soldados

May 14, 2014

Latitudes Press.El Comercio, 5/13/14

Un comando integrado por unos 30 hombres armados emboscó un convoy militar en una carretera de Jalisco, oeste de México, causando la muerte de cuatro militares e hiriendo a otros dos, informó a la AFP una fuente castrense.

El grupo de civiles armados se posicionó en la vía que conduce al municipio de Guachinango, en la Región Sierra Occidental de Jalisco, para esperar que pasara el vehículo militar, informó un mando del ejército bajo el anonimato.

“Sabemos que fueron más de 30 hombres armados a bordo de ocho camionetas de lujo, atacaron a los elementos con granadas y se suscita el tiroteo”, precisó la fuente a la AFP, que confirmó el deceso de cuatro soldados y el estado grave de otros dos como consecuencia de sus heridas.

Según algunos testigos, los sicarios chocaron intencionalmente una camioneta contra el vehículo oficial y lanzaron granadas contra ambas unidades, que se calcinaron mientras la balacera se extendía durante algunos minutos.

“Yo estaba en el remolque cuando se estacionaron las camionetas, los esperaron unos cinco minutos y empezó la balacera. Yo me resguardé en el piso de la unidad”, dijo a AFP un empleado de la Secretaría de Agricultura, desplegado en el lugar para realizar revisiones zoosanitarias.

Sobre el camión militar fallecieron dos soldados, el cuerpo de otro quedó bajó el vehículo pesado, y el cuarto en el fondo de un barranco de unos 20 metros, constató la AFP.

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Amnesty International Demands Enrique Peña Nieto Guarantee Human Rights In Mexico

May 14, 2014

prison - open doorLatin Times, 5/13/14

Amnesty International (AI)has called on the president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, to address the critical human rights situation in the country through a letter that the agency made ​​public today. The letter, which is copied to the heads of the Interior Ministry, the Attorney General’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador of Mexico in United Kingdom, Diego Gomez Pickering, says that Amnesty International has documented repeatedly that Mexico is rooted in impunity due to the lack of government response to allegations of human rights violations.

According to the letter penned to Peña Nieto “A crucial step is the determination of his government to ensure that law enforcement and other public officials implicated in serious human rights violations, including enforced disappearances and torture are promptly brought to justice and that victims receive compensation. As you know, these results are the exception and not the norm, “the letter signed by versa Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.”

Amnesty International released a worldwide report on torture today and described the critical situation in Mexico where, “the government argues that torture is the exception rather than the norm, but in reality abuse by police and security forces is widespread and goes unpunished.

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Lorenzo Zambrano Funeral: Enrique Peña Nieto To Attend Service For Beloved Cemex CEO

May 14, 2014

lorenzo zambranoLatin Times, 5/13/14

Mexico’s President, Enrique Peña Nieto, will attend the funeral services of Monterrey businessman Lorenzo Zambrano, according to Governor Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz. Peña Nieto arrived at the Monterrey International Airport at 14:00 to meet with relatives of the President of the Board and CEO of Cemex and give his condolences. The President will go to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, where a Mass will be celebrated the live of Zambrano at 16:00.

After learning of the death of Zambrano, politicians, businessmen and the public joined in the grief felt by his family. Nuevo Leon’s governor has not ruled out a state tribute to the CEO, but says he will wait for a decision from the family. “We will be very respectful of what the family wishes. We have been in contact with the capital, and a visit from the President is expected tomorrow. I will be with him to accompany the family and loved ones of Mr. Lorenzo Zambrano, ” he said .

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How Local Governments Are Hacking Immigration Reform

May 14, 2014

Minneapolis Protest Against SB 1070

The Atlantic, 5/13/14

States and cities are taking immigration reform into their own hands. With prospects for comprehensive legislation bleak in Washington, local governments have begun making decisions about who gets deported and who doesn’t by refusing to participate in a system that has come to rely on them. After a few years of slow but steady progress, local reform is now taking off.

In the last three weeks, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Denver, and counties in Oregon, Colorado, Washington, and California have announced they will no longer help federal immigration police carry out deportations. These decisions, spurred by recent federal-court rulings, add to the growing chorus of state and local governments that have recently backed away from the deportation system: dozens of major cities and counties, two states, and counting.

This movement is a big deal, because local jails have become the frontline for immigration enforcement during the Obama Administration. As the wait for administrative action from the White House continues, local resistance is already stopping thousands of deportations every month. Even if Congress is able to pass a comprehensive reform bill, the current wave of local policy changes and judicial decisions will have altered the structure of immigration enforcement by making it much harder for federal officials to rely on local police and sheriffs. National reform is still crucial. But once you understand the depths of federal-local collaboration—and the recent pattern of resistance—it’s clear that the backbone of the immigration-enforcement dragnet is starting to weaken. Pushback is coming from places with some of the largest undocumented populations, and yet many outside the immigration policy world have overlooked it.

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