May 13, 2013
The New York Times, 5/12/2013
Opening a satellite city office in a far-flung neighborhood is not unusual in sprawling cities like this one. But one thing sets apart Mayor Bob Filner’s newest outpost: it is in another country. When he opened San Diego’s Tijuana office this year, Mr. Filner spoke in grand terms about the future of cross-border relations. “Dos ciudades, pero una region — we are two cities, but one region,” he said, using the phrase popular among those who want more collaboration in the area. San Diego would put in a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, he said, but only to host jointly with Tijuana.
For years, this coastal city was widely viewed as a hotbed of illegal immigration. Neighbors traded stories of migrants hiding in their garages and hopping through their backyards. But now the region is considered one of the safest parts of the Mexican border, and the number of apprehensions of people crossing illegally is a tiny fraction of what it was a decade ago. The changes have helped bring an astounding shift in residents’ attitudes toward the border: far from seeing it as a threat, more are embracing it as a potential economic engine for the region. Perhaps one of the most remarkable things about Mr. Filner’s efforts to bolster Tijuana is that there has been no opposition from other politicians or organized protests from conservative critics.
May 7, 2013
By Andres Oppenheimer, The Miami Herald, 5/5/2013
Forget all the headlines about immigration, security and drug issues during President Barack Obama’s visit to Mexico last week: the most important (and least noticed) result of his trip may have dealt with an entirely different topic — student exchanges. Sounds boring, but it’s potentially the most exciting thing that came out of Obama’s visit: If the bilateral plan to dramatically increase student exchanges becomes a reality, it could mark a turning point in the history of U.S.-Mexican relations, and in the development of a vibrant North American economic bloc.
Right now, despite the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement among the United States, Mexico and Canada, the level of U.S.-Mexico academic exchanges is pathetic. Only 13,700 Mexican students are enrolled in U.S. colleges, compared with 194,000 from China, 100,000 from India and 72,000 from South Korea, according to the “Open Doors’’ study of the Institute of International Education. Even Vietnam, a poor Communist country with a smaller population than Mexico’s, has more students in U.S. colleges (15,000) than Mexico, the IIE figures show.
To read the Mexico Institute’s latest publication on this issue, click here.
April 30, 2013
WHEN: Thursday, May 2, 2013 from 9-10:30am
WHERE: 5th Floor Woodrow Wilson Center
On the same day that President Obama begins his trip to Latin America, the authors of the Mexico Institute’s new policy report will present their recommendations for strengthening U.S.-Mexico relations. President Obama and President Peña Nieto will meet in the context of booming bilateral trade, a major U.S. effort to reform immigration law, a potential Mexican energy reform, and ongoing but evolving cooperation in addressing public security and organized crime. The discussion will touch on each of these topics, as well as other issues in the bilateral relationship.
To RSVP, click here…
April 30, 2013
Associated Press, 4/30/13
Mexico is ending its unprecedented open relationship with U.S. security agencies that developed in recent years to fight drug trafficking and organized crime. All contact for U.S. law enforcement will now go through “a single window,” the federal Interior Ministry, the agency that controls security and domestic policy, said Sergio Alcocer, deputy foreign secretary for North American affairs.
Alcocer confirmed the change to The Associated Press on Monday, three days before U.S. President Barack Obama visits for his first bilateral meeting with his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office Dec. 1. The new policy is a dramatic shift from the direct sharing of resources and intelligence between U.S. and Mexican law enforcement under former President Felipe Calderon, who was lauded by the U.S. repeatedly for increasing cooperation between the two countries. FBI, CIA, DEA and border patrol agents had direct access to units of Mexico’s Federal Police, army and navy and worked closely with Mexican authorities in major offensives against drug cartels, including the U.S.-backed strategy of killing or arresting top kingpins.
April 12, 2013
Billionaire Carlos Slim is preparing an aggressive push into Mexico’s television market to take advantage of new telecommunications legislation, even as the changes threaten his dominance in the phone business. While Slim’s wireless carrier, America Movil SAB, is one of the chief targets of a bill to create more competition in Mexico, proposals to give consumers more options in cable and satellite TV will benefit the company, Chief Financial Officer Carlos Garcia-Moreno said last month. The bill is under Senate review after passing the lower house of Congress in March.
The law offers Slim his best chance in years to get a license to offer pay-TV services over satellite and cable, said Pablo Vallejo, an analyst at Corporativo GBM SAB. Slim, the world’s richest person, is amassing media assets, including Mexican soccer teams and the rights to air the Olympics, to lure customers with exclusive programming.
March 25, 2013
Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray talks about the peso, energy strategy and bank lending. Vidergary speaks with Bloomberg’s Adriana Arai at the Bloomberg Link Mexico Economic Summit in Mexico City.
March 22, 2013
Young and Undocumented: The New American Story
Sunday, March 24th, 11:00AM
This Sunday on an all new episode of Wilson Forum three undocumented students from Georgetown’s Hoyas for Immigrant Rights group discuss the current challenges, including limited access to education, healthcare, and financial opportunities, that immigrant college students face in the U.S. today. John Milewski, host of Dialogue at the Wilson Center, moderates the discussion.
Watch the live stream here.
Also available on television in Washington, DC and nationally.
March 22, 2013
American Diplomacy, 3/21/2013
Given our complex agenda with Mexico, loaded with irritants, one might have thought that there would be a careful and institutionalized process for selecting ambassadors, with a long period of preparation. To the contrary, Dolia Estévez’s study of the last nine US ambassadors to Mexico, all living, shows how disparate their backgrounds were, how little preparation some of them had, and how short-term political considerations motivated the appointments of several of them. Her study also shows the growing challenges over the years from 1977 to 2011 of managing the largest or next-to-largest U.S. diplomatic mission in any foreign country while a host of US agencies increasingly pursued their own bilateral agendas with their counterparts in Mexico.
The author herself conducted interviews with eight of the nine living former US ambassadors. (Only James Pilliod was not up to being interviewed.) After covering US-Mexico relations for twenty years, and having drawn frequently on Embassy cables, Dolia Estévez wanted to get the ambassadors’ personal reflections on the issues in the cables. The interviews are short and focused, and in some cases elicited remarkably frank answers. The result is a refreshingly straightforward survey of 30 years of US-Mexican relations.
March 19, 2013
What role the Republican Party plays in comprehensive immigration reform will have an important impact on whether or not Latinos, a key political demographic, will consider voting Republican in the future, a new poll finds.
A recent poll by Latino Decisions, a firm that conducts research on Latino political opinions, reported that 32 percent of Latinos would be more likely to consider voting Republican in the future if comprehensive immigration reform passed. On a related note, 39 percent said they would be less likely to vote Republican if party leaders in the House of Representatives defeated reform efforts.
March 12, 2013
Mexico’s government presented on Monday a major reform bill that aims to loosen billionaire Carlos Slim’s hold on the telecommunications market and curb top broadcaster Televisa’s rule of the airwaves. The following are key points in the proposal:
Changes the constitution to create an independent telecommunications and broadcast regulator, the Federal Telecommunications Institute, that will have certain powers, such as awarding spectrum auctions that are currently reserved to the Communications Ministry.