Headlines from Mexico

July 21, 2014

07/21/14

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1. This weekend, the Senate approved changes to the regulatory framework of the Federal Commission of Electricity (CFE by its acronym in Spanish) and PEMEX as part of the new legislation of the Energy Reform. Among the main changes are the following: it provides technical, operational and managerial autonomy to both companies, thereby reducing the administrative burden to which they were subject. Furthermore, the labor rights of workers are protected and the unions are allowed to remain as key players in the decisions of both companies. Specifically for PEMEX, it facilitates the creation of various subsidiaries to operate a variety of hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation projects; meanwhile, authorizes the CFE to provide private firms access to the national transmission and distribution electric network.

This is the third set of changes approved by the Senate. The fourth and final set of legislative changes are expected to be discussed during this week. The changes are still pending discussion and approval in the lower house of the Mexican Congress.

Read more from Excelsior,Reforma,and La Jornada…

2. The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS for its acronym in Spanish) and the Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers (ISSSTE for its acronym in Spanish) are facing budgetary pressures due to large pension obligations. According to the Ministry of Finance, over 50% of their annual expenditure goes directly to pension payments, which could threaten their financial viability in the long term according to experts. Several voices from the academic and private sectors have called to take action to address the problem of the national pension system. Several state and municipal governments are facing similar challenges.

Read more from El Universal…

3. Following a confrontation between residents and police in Puebla, one child died. On July 9th, there was a clash between residents of San Bernardino Chalchihuapan and state police in Atlixco-Puebla highway. Protesters blocked both directions of the road and were asking for the return of the Civil Registry Office to the municipal council.  Members of the state police forced them to leave, which led to a confrontation that resulted in four people arrested, 18 injured policemen and a seriously injured child, who later died at the hospital. Controversy surrounds the case: the boy’s mother accused the state police of hurting her son with a rubber bullet, while the state government blamed the protesters. The Secretary of Public Safety rejected the notion that the state police used rubber bullets in the confrontation. Puebla’s State Government requested the Attorney General’s Office to deal with the matter in order to determine responsibility for injuries to the minor.

Read more from Reforma…

 


Woman in Mexico children’s home probe freed without charges

July 21, 2014

07/20/14 Reuters

justice - gavelA controversial woman at the center of an abuse scandal at a children’s home in western Mexico has been set free after a preliminary probe cleared her of wrongdoing, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office said on Sunday.

Mexican police raided the refuge known as “La Gran Familia” (The Big Family) in the state of Michoacan on Tuesday, finding around 450 kids in squalid rooms filled with trash and cockroaches.

Read more…


Mexico liberalizes electricity generation

July 21, 2014

07/21/14 Deutsche Welle

Energy -electricity_transmission_linesMexico’s Senate has passed a law that will allow private power generators to sell electricity directly to users. It’s another step in a major reform and privatization of the country’s energy sectors.

Mexico’s Senate voted 88 to 26 on Sunday (20.7.2014) in favor of a new Electricity Industry Act, which will now move to the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house in Mexico’s parliament, for further legislative processing.

Read more…


Mexico’s Senate OKs fresh changes to Pemex, electrical utility

July 21, 2014

07/21/14 Reuters

energy - oil_rigMexico’s Senate passed two bills late on Sunday that set out modified structures for the country’s two state-owned energy companies, part of a sweeping reform that overhauls the oil, gas and electricity sectors.

The new laws that define the administration and new transparency measures for state-run oil company Pemex and national electricity utility CFE passed on a vote of 89 to 27.

 

Read more…


Detentions of migrant kids at Texas-Mexico border drop, Border Patrol says

July 18, 2014

07/17/14 Dallas Morning News

immigrant mother and boyThe U.S. Border Patrol has detained fewer unaccompanied children entering South Texas illegally in the past 10 days, agency officials said Thursday.

In recent months, the Border Patrol’s facilities in South Texas have been overwhelmed by a surge in the number of children entering the country without their parents. More than 57,000 children have been arrested since October, more than double the number compared to a year earlier.

Read more…


Mexico Senate Approves Energy Bill Opponents Denounce as Treason

July 18, 2014

07/18/14 Bloomberg

energy- oil pumps 2Mexico’s Senate approved additional legislation to help open the country’s energy sector to private companies for the first time in more than seven decades, a move decried as treasonous by opponents.

The Senate voted 90 to 28 today to approve a bill that sets a framework for oil and gas contracts for companies entering the country such as Chevron Corp. (CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)The landmark legislation opens the state-run crude monopoly held by Petroleos Mexicanos since 1938. Three other proposals that will open the electricity sector and set guidelines for state-owned companies and their employees will be debated today and over the weekend.

Read more…


Controversy surrounds rescue of children from Mexico shelter

July 18, 2014

07/17/14 Los Angeles Times

Kids Photo Credit Kelly DonlanIn an odd and contradictory tale of abuse and protection, authorities say they rescued nearly 500 children from a shelter in the western state of Michoacan, where they were reportedly exposed to bug-infested food, rapes and filthy conditions.

Yet almost immediately after the announcement earlier this week, Mexico’s former president and several other prominent public figures rose to the defense of the elderly woman running the shelter, further muddying an already confusing picture.

Read more…


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