It’s called “Eco-bici”, as in “economical bicycle.” It’s a cheap way to get from point A to B but nope, you can’t find it in Los Angeles, at least not yet. Some 2,000 miles to the south, in a city similar in square miles, but three times the population of LA, the eco-bici is thriving in Mexico City. Stations located throughout the city, especially in the financial and business districts of Mexico are growing in popularity especially when compared against other forms of transportation. A subway ride costs 5 pesos (38 cents) but riders say the bike is still a bargain and it’s better for the environment. While the program is still growing in Mexico, some citizens say Los Angeles could learn from Mexico’s program.LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is traveling in Mexico this week, says the program could work in Los Angeles.
Mexico’s energy reform initiative will spark competition with Canada in terms of supplying the United States with oil and natural gas, further fueling the major oil producer’s efforts to diversify export markets, Canada’s minister of natural resources said on Tuesday. ”There’s no question that Mexico has embarked on a bold move,” Joe Oliver, Canada’s natural resources minister, told reporters at the annual IHS CERAweek energy conference in Houston.
“They will emerge as another player. We’re focusing on diversifying our market, so that’s perhaps yet another reason to do that. Well, in fact it is,” he said. Last December Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto signed into law a sweeping energy reform that ends the 75-year monopoly state-owned oil company Pemex held on oil and gas production. Nieto is making the case that Mexico is open for business, underscored by energy reform, the hallmark of his 14-month-old government.
One of the two lead contractors for Israel’s apartheid wall in the occupied West Bank, Elbit Systems, has won a $145 million contract from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide similar systems on the Mexico-US border. According to Electronic Intifada report, this is the second time Elbit, which tests its technology on Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation, has won a major US border surveillance contract.
The new DHS contract calls for “Integrated Fixed Tower systems” that will “assist [Border Patrol] agents in detecting, tracking, identifying and classifying items of interest” along the border. This contract largely reprises Elbit’s role in the Boeing contract. Initial installations will be in Arizona.
On a January night in the Arizona desert, a U.S. Border Patrol agent pursued and killed an illegal immigrant named Gabriel Sanchez. The border agency said Mr. Sanchez tried to grab the agent’s gun, prompting him to shoot. The lawyer representing the victim’s family said the circumstances of the shooting remain uncertain. “The only thing we have to speak for the deceased is physical evidence,” said Phoenix attorney Daniel Ortega.
Mr. Sanchez, who has two U.S.-born children, is among at least 22 civilians killed by agents in the field or while in custody since 2010 on the Southwest border, according to immigrant advocacy groups. The majority of those killed have been Latin American immigrants who were unarmed, and a few were U.S. citizens, the groups say. Some victims were throwing rocks at Border Patrol agents, which can prompt a lethal-force response under current policy.
Mexico has stepped up its effort to crack down on one of the most powerful and feared criminal organizations in the country, with arrests and seizures this week aimed not at drug trafficking or extortion but at the gang’s lucrative infiltration of mining and smuggling iron ore to China.
The gang, the Knights Templar, has become a violent menace in western Mexico, giving rise to vigilante groups that formed to stop its reign of extortion, kidnapping and murder. That, in turn, forced the government to send the federal police and the military to try to take back a region it conceded had fallen out of state control. Aside from extortion, one of the gang’s chief sources of income has been its infiltration of the mining industry in Michoacán State and, until the arrival of the Mexican Navy in November, near total control of the Pacific port of Lázaro Cárdenas, the country’s second largest.
As immigration reform bogs down once again in the nation’s capital, there is at least one area where both sides should be able to come together for some meaningful, near-term action. That is focusing on the untapped potential of the hundreds of thousands of skilled men and women who have already come to the United States — many of them from Asia, particularly China and India — through legal channels.
Unfortunately, this issue has generally been overlooked amid the focus on the flow of unauthorized, low-skilled immigrants into the United States, and the pleas of some high-tech companies for more visas that would allow them to hire additional employees from overseas with specialized skills. The language of immigration today also is increasingly politicized, adding little to a constructive discussion: Illegal vs. undocumented. Amnesty vs. a path to citizenship.
Alfonso Cuarón has won the best director Oscar for Gravity at the 86th Academy Awards, defeating a field that included 12 Years a Slave’s Steve McQueen, Nebraska’s Alexander Payne and Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street. In doing so, Cuarón becomes the first Mexican-born director to win the award.
With a back catalogue including Mexican road movie Y Tu Mama Tambien, dystopian near-future parable Children of Men and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Cuarón has been nominated for Oscars before, but not in this category. Gravity, the space-walk thrillerstarring Sandra Bullock as a scientist stranded in Earth’s orbit after her craft is crippled by debris, has proved a huge box-office hit, as well as a showcase for cutting-edge visual effects. It has already won Cuarón major best director awards at the Golden Globes and Baftas, and won the Bafta for best British film.