08/20/14 Financial Times. By Enrique Peña Nieto
Mexico’s reform agenda is now complete. Eleven structural reforms were passed by congress over the past 20 months.
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08/08/14 The Wall Street Journal
In an announcement Thursday, the administration billed the three-day trip from Sept. 3 to 5 as a trade mission to promote “economic growth and job creation between New Jersey and Mexico.”
1. Deputies approve energy reform, including an anti-crisis plan. This weekend, in the Chamber of Deputies, the secondary legislation of the energy reform was passed. This Monday, the proposed changes will be discussed again in the Senate to make the necessary changes and then will be sent to the President of the Republic for publication and enactment. The main change that the Deputies proposed was the creation of an anti-crisis plan in case Mexico enters into an economic crisis. This would allow the Federal Government to use resources derived from the sale of crude oil that so far have been accumulated in funds administered by the Ministry of Finance.
2. Son of former Governor of Michoacan goes to Santiaguito prison. Last night, Rodrigo Vallejo Mora, son of the former governor of Michoacan Fausto Vallejo Figueroa, joined the Centre for Prevention and Social Readaptation of Santiaguito, in the State of Mexico, suspected of covering up his conversation with Servando Gómez Martínez, La Tuta, leader of the criminal group identified as the Knights Templar. The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) reported that after spending 48 hours at the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), Vallejo Mora refused to testify about the video footage in which he is seen talking to the cartel’s leader. His case is allocated to a district court where his legal situation will be resolved.
3. According to the Ministry of Public Education and the National Institute for Educational Evaluation, 60% of potential teachers in the public system are ‘unfit’ to teach. Only 3.5% of the teachers achieved the highest level in the three performance exams that were applied in past days. Despite the result, there are still unresolved issues regarding the approval criteria and the score needed to compete for a teaching spot in the public system.
4. The number of migrants secured by the National Migration Institute increased significantly in recent years while its budget has hardly improved. During the past two years, the number of detained migrants increased over 30% and in the case of unaccompanied minors the increase surpassed 130%, while its budget only increased 6.4%. Several analysts have pointed out that it is important to give greater financial resources to the Institute because today most of the annual budget is used to cover administrative costs and not allocated to other investments needed to efficiently perform necessary tasks in the sector.
5. Mexican Senate creates commission to follow-up migrant children crisis. Five members will report the situation of unaccompanied children on their journey to America. The approval of its creation will be voted on at its meeting on special session on Monday. The Political Coordination Board (Jucopo by its acronym in Spanish) requires continuity in the work done on behalf of migrant children and adolescents through Mexico into the United States.
The move comes amid a sweeping reform of the energy and power sectors that will see the state oil company as well as utility CFE transform into “state productive enterprises” by the end of next year, competing with private investment.
Luxury car maker BMW (BMWG.DE) revealed a $1 billion Mexican plant investment on Thursday, becoming the latest major automaker to take advantage of the country’s growing industrial base and tariff-free access to the U.S. market.
BMW outlined plans to build a factory in the central Mexican city of San Luis Potosi, reducing the German company’s dependence on higher-cost plants at home.
The plant will begin assembling models in 2019 with an initial workforce of 1,500 and annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles, the company said.
Mexico is reviewing design plans for a new 120 billion peso ($9.23 billion) Mexico City airport which will eventually have six runways and should begin operating by 2018, according to sources familiar with the plan.
The new hub is due to replace the overstretched Benito Juarez International Airport and would be built on the area of the Texcoco lake bed nearby, said two people with knowledge of the project, few details about which have been revealed.
Atara Biotherapeutics Inc., which is developing therapies for illnesses such as kidney disease and cancer, has filed for an initial public offering (IPO), The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Through a family trust that owns 9.3% of Atara shares, Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helú is one of Atara’s key investors, according to the regulatory filing.
In the filings Atara said that the proceeds from the IPO would be used for development and clinical studies of two of its drug candidates and to expand its research for other drug candidates. Asked by email whether Slim plans to increase his participation in Atara, Arturo Elías Ayub, Slim’s spokesperson, declined to comment.
06/23/14 Proceso: Olga Pellicer– Translated by: Jane Brundage – Mexico Voices
Political life in Mexico is full of surprises. One of them has been public indifference to the forthcoming adoption of secondary legislation for the constitutional reform in the energy sector, which is one of the most significant changes for the life of the country. Several analysts have called attention to the fact that “the devil is in the details.” That is, the true scope of what it is intended to reform–such as, among other things, making Pemex a productive enterprise competing on an equal footing with domestic and foreign investment–will only be seen when changes to the Constitution are implemented.
Mexican authorities are probing why Citigroup Inc. (C)’s local unit boosted the size and length of loans to an oil-services firm in the months leading up to the discovery of a $400 million fraud, the nation’s chief banking regulator said. Officials are examining a change Banamex made around September 2012 to extend due dates to about three months instead of three weeks, Jaime Gonzalez, head of the regulatory agency CNBV, said in an interview. He’s also looking into the decision by bank executives a year later to raise credit limits for Oceanografia SA, the oil-services firm at the center of the investigation, he said.
USC News, 5/29/14
USC strengthened its ties with the government of Mexico during a recent visit by a delegation led by Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jose Antonio Meade.
Along with Sergio Alcocer, under-secretary for North American affairs, and Carlos Sada, consul general of Mexico in Los Angeles, Meade met with USC President C. L. Max Nikias and USC Trustee Edward P. Roski, Jr. after the launch of the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research in Mexico City.
The May 21 forum, which was jointly convened by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Meade, was established to foster the growth of student exchange, research and innovation programs between the U.S. and Mexico.