Mexico in Peacekeeping Operations: A Late and Controversial Decision

October 23, 2014

10/20/14 by Olga Pellicer, Mexico Institute Expert Take

In a recent intervention at the general debate of the United Nations’ General Assembly, President Peña Nieto unveiled a decision that had long been awaited by scholars working on Mexican foreign policy. In a cautious manner, emphasizing that this would be done in “accordance with the normative principles established in our Constitution”, he announced that Mexico would now participate in the United Nations’ Peacekeeping Operations (PKO’s).

In fact, this is not Mexico’s first experience with PKO’s. The best-known instance involved the deployment of 120 policemen in El Salvador as part of ONUSAL, which remains as one of the most paradigmatic examples of the new generation of PKO’s that arose after the end of the Cold War.  These gradually acquired multiple responsibilities have quietly re-interpreted certain principles of the UN’s Charter, such as those relating to non-intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of  States.

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For Spanish version…

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Three Keys to Understand the 2015 Budget Debate in Mexico

October 23, 2014

By Christopher Wilson and Pedro Valenzuela

(Originally posted on Forbes.com)

Each fall, Mexico’s Congress debates the administration’s budget proposal. It was sent to Congress by the Peña Nieto administration in September, and a final version must be passed no later than the end of October to authorize revenue streams and by November 15 to detail expenditures. This is the first budget debate since Mexico’s 2013 fiscal reform was implemented, offering an important opportunity to analyze the impact of the tax policy changes on public income, and consequently, also on expenditures. The administration’s proposal represents a real increase of 1.2%, which, according to the government, will provide the funds to implement the structural reforms and fund new infrastructure and social programs.[1] As a result of the increased spending and a dip in petroleum revenue, the government will continue to run a deficit, and Mexico’s public debt will continue to grow. Each of these three issues—tax collection, public expenditure, and the national debt—are explored in this article, all in the context of Mexico’s structural reforms and brightening yet somewhat volatile economic prospects.

At the time of publication, the revenue proposal, which must be passed by both houses of congress, had been approved by the Chamber of Deputies and was in committee in the Senate. The Senate is expected to move the bill to the floor and approve the final version during the last week of October.[2] The Chamber of Deputies made moderate changes to the executive proposal, including an increase in the expected exchange rate from 13 to 13.4 pesos per U.S. dollar and a drop in the expected reference price for oil from $82 to $81 dollars per barrel.[3] After the ley de ingresos, or revenue law, is passed, attention will turn to the ley de egresos, the budget of expenditures, which only needs to be approved by simple majority in the lower house.

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[1] Presidencia de la República (September 5 2014). Presentación de la Propuesta del Paquete Económico 2015. Retrieved from  http://bit.ly/1yg6TNx

[2] -, (2014, October 21). El Senado aprobaría minuta de Ley de Ingresos sin cambios. El Economista. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1FD7mOL

[3]  -, (2014, October 17). Envían al Senado la Ley de Ingresos. Excelsior. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1sPyDH1


Prospera pone a México a la vanguardia del combate a la pobreza en AL

October 20, 2014

10/19/14 Impact.Mx

SecretariadedesarolosocialCon Prospera México se coloca a la vanguardia de América Latina en el diseño de estrategias de combate a la pobreza, reconocieron autoridades de los bancos Mundial (BM), Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) y expertos del Woodrow Wilson Center y de la Brookings Institución. La Secretaría de Desarrollo Social (Sedesol) informó en un comunicado que durante la visita de su titular, Rosario Robles Berlanga, a esas instituciones, el director ejecutivo para México del BID, Juan Bosco Martí, destacó los beneficios del programa. Aseguró que Prospera tuvo excelente recibimiento de los expertos del BID, porque “no solamente tiene los elementos para trabajar en reducir la pobreza, sino los mecanismos para permitir a las personas insertarse en el mercado laboral y crear su propia riqueza”. El jefe de la División de Protección Social y Salud del BID, Ferdinando Regalia, recibió muy bien la explicación de Robles Berlanga sobre la inclusión productiva de las mujeres y la generación de empleos.

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Mexico Finds Many Corpses, but Not Lost 43

October 20, 2014

10/18/14 New York Times

guerrero

With borrowed shovels and pick axes, the farmers drove their battered pickup trucks to a series of suspicious clearings in the countryside, jumped out and started digging. “Hey, hey, it’s a spine,” one of the men, part of a citizen police patrol, called out last week, fishing out what appeared to be a piece of spinal column. Soon came other fragments — a rib? a knee bone? Five mass graves have already been discovered in the hunt for 43 students who disappeared last month after clashing with the local police — and another half dozen secret burial sites like this one are being tested to determine the origins of the remains inside.

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Don’t Mess With Saudis in Oil Bear Market Global Shakeout

October 16, 2014

10/16/14 Bloomberg

energy - oil barrelsLower oil prices may lead to less of a bonanza for Mexico as it ends a 76-year-old state oil monopoly and opens up to private investment, according to Marco Oviedo, chief economist in the Latin American country for Barclays Plc. The nation is set to hold its first round of auctions next year for oil production contracts that’s forecast to attract nearly $13 billion of investment a year through 2018, according to the Energy Ministry. It will also offer joint ventures with state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos. “Mexico is going to have a very, very important round-one bidding process in just a few months,” Marcelo Mereles, a former Pemex executive who’s now a partner at EnergeA, an energy consultant, said in a phone interview from Mexico City. “ The lowered oil prices could cause bidders to be less aggressive and or shy away from investing in Mexico immediately.”

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UPDATE 2-Banamex uncovers new $15 mln fraud in Mexican bank unit

October 16, 2014

10/14/14 Reuters

citigroupCitigroup Inc said on Tuesday it had uncovered a $15 million fraud at its troubled Mexican unit Banamex related to a security services company the bank operated. The company was originally set up only to protect Banamex board members and their families from kidnappers and other attackers, a person familiar with the investigation said. Citi said the company was also found to have been offering its services to third parties. The fraud was related to expenses claims submitted by the company to the bank, the person added.

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Citi’s consumer banking head plans to leave: WSJ

October 15, 2014

10/14/14 Reuters

citigroupManuel Medina-Mora, head of Citigroup Inc’s (C.N) consumer banking and chairman of the company’s troubled Mexico unit, is preparing to leave in the coming months, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people with knowledge of the situation. Details of Medina-Mora’s departure were not finalized and could change, but he is expected to leave or announce his departure by early next year, the Journal reported.

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