Mexico’s gun control laws: A model for the United States?

April 17, 2014

guns1The Washington Post, 4/17/14

The most recent issue of the Texas Review of Law and Politics includes my article with the aforesaid title. This is the first law review article to examine in depth Mexican gun laws, and related empirical data.

The article begins with an examination of the right to arms in the Mexican Constitution, and of predecessor versions of that right. Former versions recognized a right to carry, but the current version recognizes only a right in the home. In practice, the Mexican government ignores the right.

The next part of the article details the operation of Mexico’s federal gun control statute, which dates from 1972. The statute itself is very strict, and enforcement tends to be oppressive and corrupt. Accordingly, many Mexicans obtain firearms outside of the very narrow channels (only one legal gun store in the entire country) which the government permits. Fourteen percent of Mexican households have a firearm, including 50 percent of poor households in high violence areas. In many parts of Mexico, the government does not reliably protect citizens from violence, so citizens must protect themselves.

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Citigroup’s Banamex Says Alleged Bad Loans Will Hurt Profit

April 16, 2014

finance-market_dataThe Wall Street Journal, 4/14/14

Citigroup Inc.  ‘s Mexican unit, Grupo Financiero Banamex, said Monday that its first-quarter net profit will be reduced by $112 million due to reserves it has set aside to cover seemingly bad loans to Mexican oil services firms.

The cut comes on top of Citigroup’s move to reduce its fourth-quarter and full-year results by about $235 million after finding allegedly fraudulent billings at its Mexico unit.

Banamex said that the new charge is related to loans it extended to Oceanografía SA de CV, the company that Citigroup accused of fraud in February, as well as from loans to a second oil services firm that appears to have also engaged in fraud.

Citigroup disclosed earlier Monday that the second potential fraud it has uncovered involved less than $30 million in credit. The New York bank declined to reveal the name of the second company. Mexican authorities said Citigroup hasn’t yet filed charges against another oil services firm.

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American Legion shoots down idea to tie immigration to military service

April 16, 2014

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants 2 participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 2006The Washington Times, 4/15/14

The American Legion says it is opposed to trying to tie immigration into the annual defense policy debate, calling it an unacceptable “amnesty” and dealing a serious blow to Republicans desperate to pass some sort of legalization of illegal immigrants ahead of November’s elections.

Several Republicans say they want to attach a small legalization that would grant an explicit chance at citizenship to young illegal immigrants willing to join the military.

But immigration is so combustible as an issue that some defense advocates fear that adding a legalization provision to the National Defense Authorization Act could imperil the rest of the critical work in the defense bill, which sets troop and equipment levels, oversees detainee policy and settles hundreds of other important military issues.

“The NDAA needs to stand alone, and I think attaching an issue as contentious and complex as immigration and recruitment policy would only stall the NDAA,” said John Stovall, director of the American Legion’s national security division. “Immigration policy needs to be debated on its own outside the debate of NDAA.”

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House Democrats need 27 signatures to force vote on comprehensive immigration reform bill

April 16, 2014

shutterstock_93480406The Washington Post, 5/15/14

House Democrats are renewing their push for a vote on a proposed comprehensive immigration reform package, vowing Tuesday to refocus efforts on pressuring Republicans to sign onto a discharge petition that would force a vote on the legislation.

The immigration reform push is the third recent attempt by Republicans to leverage a discharge petition — a procedural tactic that allows the majority of House members to supersede the will of the House leadership and bring a bill to the floor — in an attempt to force a vote on a piece of legislation that they support.

House Democrats say they currently have 191 signatures — all Democrats — on the petition, and that they will recommit to pressure Republican lawmakers who have said previously that they would support comprehensive immigration reform. The petition must get 218 signatures to force a vote on the legislation.

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Autoridades trasladan a Apatzingán a integrantes de autodefensas detenidos

April 16, 2014

prisonCNN Mexico, 4/15/14

La Secretaría de Seguridad Pública (SSP) de Michoacán trasladó este martes a 20 personas relacionadas con grupos de autodefensas al Centro de Readaptación Social (CERESO) de Apatzingán, procedentes de diferentes reclusorios del país.

En un comunicado, la dependencia estatal refirió que esta acción forma parte de los 11 puntos acordados el lunes entre autoridades y líderes de autodefensas de la región de Tierra Caliente, en la entidad michoacana.

Entre los acuerdos para darle una solución legal a la operación de los grupos de civiles armados en Michoacán, se estableció que a partir del 11 de mayo los integrantes de autodefensas que no se sujeten a los puntos pactados, podrán ser detenidos y consignados ante los tribunales.

Este martes, la SSP Michoacán detalló que las personas trasladadas desde diferentes centros federales de detención (en Veracruz, Estado de México y Tamaulipas) a Apatzingán, están recluidas junto con otras 35 personas relacionadas con grupos de autodefensa michoacanos.

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US-Mexico bank doles out cash

April 16, 2014

windmillRe News, 4/15/14

The North American Development Bank has begun disbursing two loans totaling $140m to build a pair of 126MW wind farms in Mexico.Ventika 1 and 2 investors include Mexican cement and aggregates giant Cemex and Fisterra Energy, a company controlled by funds managed by Blackstone.

The energy produced will supply facilities belonging to FEMSA, DEACERO, Tecnológico de Monterrey and CEMEX. The Ventika wind farms are located in the municipality of General Bravo, Nuevo Leon, about 100 miles east of Monterrey. Acciona Energía is building the projects under engineering, procurement and construction contracts, as reported by reNews.

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Are U.S. Companies More Willing To Play Along With Mexico’s Corruption Culture?

April 16, 2014

money laundering -- dollar billsReuters, 4/15/14

Citigroup (NYE:C) disclosed Monday that it had found another case of fraud in its accounts-receivable program at Banamex, its Mexican unit, involving a supplier to Mexico’s state oil monopoly Pemex. In a teleconference, the bank’s chief financial officer, John C. Gerspach, did not reveal the identity of the supplier, but citing Pemex sources, the Mexican press identified it as Evya, a Mexican oil service company.

Gerspach reported that the breach involved less than $30 million in costs to Citigroup. He added that the supplier was in the process of paying back Citigroup and the bank expected “full restitution.”

According to its website, Evya,  based in the southeastern state of Campeche, is a “100% Mexican company” that provides engineering and maintenance services. Between 2003 and 2014, Evya signed 84 contracts with Pemex. The Mexican press identified brothers Francisco Javier, Luis y Roberto Camargo Salinas as Evya’s owners.

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