08/20/14 Financial Times. By Enrique Peña Nieto
Mexico’s reform agenda is now complete. Eleven structural reforms were passed by congress over the past 20 months.
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08/11/14 Los Angeles Times
President Enrique Peña Nieto on Monday signed into law Mexico’s landmark energy reform legislation and announced that his government could name as early as this week the first oil and gas fields that will be opened up to foreign investors.
“It is the moment to put the energy reform into action,” Peña Nieto said in an elaborate signing ceremony at the National Palace.
President Enrique Pena Nieto formally opened Mexico’s state-controlled energy industry to private investment, saying the nation will accelerate steps for the first round of private contracts.
Pena Nieto signed legislation today that completes steps to end the monopoly on energy production held by state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos since 1938. The law sets guidelines for private companies seeking to produce oil and electricity, and allows the government to assume pension liabilities from Pemex and the state-owned utility Comision Federal de Electricidad.
08/09/14 The Economist
FEW governments can truly claim to be radical. The administration of Enrique Peña Nieto is on its way to joining this rare breed. The Mexican president came to office in late 2012, promising big changes to the way the country was run. The legislative phase of this reform process is now complete. Next comes implementation.
Much has been done in the past 20 months. Mexico has the lowest tax take in the OECD as a percentage of GDP: a fiscal reform has started to broaden its sources of revenues. Measures to shake up the telecoms and broadcasting industries last month prompted América Móvil, the monopolistic telecoms firm owned by Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, to announce it will divest assets to avoid antitrust pricing regimes. Teachers will face more scrutiny, banks more competition.
07/24/14 The Hill
Obama called Nieto Thursday, a day before he meets with leaders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador about the ongoing border crisis.
06/24/14 The Guardian
Less than two years into Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidency, Mexico is implementing an ambitious structural-reform package designed to lift its economy out of a multidecade low-growth trap and create new opportunities for its citizens. The reforms involve restructuring economic sectors once deemed politically untouchable and are backed by constitutional amendments and a bold legislative agenda.
Indeed, thanks to the “pact for Mexico”, much of this agenda has the support not only of Peña Nieto’s government but also of the two main opposition parties. This unique arrangement will be tested soon as the reforms begin to bite, and the outcome could have important and lasting consequences for efforts to implement structural reforms elsewhere around the world.
Such reforms are never easy to initiate and are usually difficult to complete. Politicians advocate them when they are in opposition but rarely embrace and sustain them when in government. The reason is simple: front-loaded costs and back-loaded benefits make structural reforms politically perilous.
For the last few years, the challenging security situation has been the headline issue in Mexico. Turf wars between increasingly-fragmented cartels—enfeebled by the capture or killing of high-profile kingpins—not to mention the recent proliferation of vigilante groups, have overshadowed the remarkable progress that President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government has made on other fronts. Last year, Peña Nieto forged a broad political consensus around a set of revolutionary constitutional reforms touching everything from the country’s economy to its educational system to its fiscal management. Reforms to the energy sector have generated particular excitement, opening the door to foreign participation in the country’s energy industry and raising hopes of a new round of growth that will benefit Mexico and foreign investors alike.
These are indeed exciting times for Mexico, but as we explain in a new report, any exuberance about the country’s prospects should be tempered by the hard work that lies ahead. The coming months and years will see the country turn its state-run oil, gas and electricity monopolies into market-driven enterprises and establish new independent regulatory bodies to oversee these industries. Any challenges to the new order will play out before the country’s notoriously fickle judiciary. And there will certainly be challenges: from the staunchly opposed labor unions, political opponents, and any companies who feel they’ve lost out.
President Enrique Peña Nieto presided over a ceremony presenting awards to Army, Navy and Air Force units on Thursday, praising Mexico’s armed forces for renewing their capacity to respond to violence through a process of internal transformation and improved inter-institutional coordination. “Today our soldiers and sailors have more technology and better information to act with precision and exactness, to minimize the risks to the population and maximize their effectiveness against criminal organizations,” Peña Nieto said, adding that this transformation has allowed the country’s armed forces to successfully carry out their duties with strict compliance with the constitution and the country’s laws, prioritizing clear respect for human rights at all times.
At a meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty, delivered a memorandum demanding an urgent list of actions to combat entrenched impunity and serious human rights violations. The meeting focused on widespread torture, the large number of disappearances, abuses against migrants and refugees, attacks on journalists and human rights defenders, and violence faced by women and indigenous peoples.
“While Mexico is an increasingly important actor on the world stage, not only in economic terms but in the field of human rights, it is failing to deliver at home. I told the President that he must demonstrate he is serious about ensuring human rights not just internationally but for all inside the country as well,” said Salil Shetty.
The capture of the world’s most-wanted narcotics boss shows Mexico is making headway in a drug war that has curbed economic growth while helping to leave at least 92,000 people killed or missing since 2006 . Mexican security forces captured Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman early Feb. 22 in the Pacific beach town of Mazatlan after trailing him for more than a week. Thirteen people were apprehended in all, with no shots fired. Authorities also seized guns, a rocket launcher and 43 vehicles.
Guzman’s arrest caps a 13-year manhunt by Mexican and U.S. authorities and marks a victory for President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office in 2012 after pledging to scale back the military’s role in fighting organized crime to curb bloodshed. Further progress against drug trafficking could help boost gross domestic product, according to Alonso Cervera, the chief Latin America economist for Credit Suisse Group AG in Mexico City.
Guzman was at the center of a cocaine, heroin and marijuana trafficking industry that converted swaths of Mexico into battlegrounds as competitors vied for lucrative trade routes and federal security forces attempted to restore order. The U.S. State Department had a bounty of as much as $5 million on Guzman, and Mexico was offering 30 million pesos ($2.26 million) for his arrest.