Mexico Open to Airport Expansion as $5 Billion Cost Seen

December 11, 2013

Bloomberg, 12/11/2013

airplane on runwayPresident Enrique Pena Nieto may expand the congested Mexico City airport, the busiest in Latin America, on government-owned land east of the capital, his top transportation official said.

Construction could begin as soon as 2014, Communications and Transportation Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza told reporters yesterday in Mexico City. Investment in Benito Juarez International Airport would amount to about $5 billion, according to an estimate by Luis Zarate, head of a trade group for builders.

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Mexico Housing Hits U.S. Investors as Plan Collapses

December 6, 2013

Bloomberg, 12/6/2013

Photo by Flikr user LyfetimeThree years into her home-ownership dream, Martha Orozco has had enough. Stuck in a government-sponsored complex called Parque San Mateo that’s two hours away from her $8,000-a-year job as a hospital secretary in Mexico City, Orozco sees only broken promises and blight all around her.

The program has been a disaster. Hundreds of thousands of homes are now derelict after buyers such as Orozco concluded they were located too far from city centers and moved out. Developers, their profits assured by government guarantees, built houses faster than municipalities could connect them to water systems and power grids.

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Mexico to tender $7.4 billion in passenger train projects in 2014

October 9, 2013

Reuters, 10/8/2013

Train Tracks by HeraldicosMexico’s government will tender three passenger train projects next year worth 97 billion pesos ($7.4 billion), two of which will service the capital’s sprawling metropolitan area, the country’s transport ministry said on Tuesday. Project details will be published ahead of the contract tender in early 2014, the ministry said in a statement. The new trains will connect the country’s capital with the cities of Toluca and Queretaro, in addition to a train traversing tourist destinations along Mexico’s southern Yucatan peninsula.

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Mexico’s treasures

July 22, 2013

Photo by Flickr user Angelica RiveraFinancial Times, 7/22/2013

Enrique Peña Nieto is on a roll. In a single week Mexico’s president has boosted his credentials on domestic security with the arrest of the country’s most notorious drug lord and on the economy with a six-year 4tn peso ($316bn) infrastructure investment plan.

The arrest of Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, brutal boss of the Zeta gang, is an unqualified victory in the war on Mexico’s mounting violence. The wins from Mexico’s infrastructure investment will take rather longer to materialise. But if fully implemented, the programme should help accelerate Mexico’s growth.

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Infrastructure, Drug Lords and Reform Proposals in Mexico – Weekly News Summary: July 19

July 19, 2013

Coffee by Flikr user samrevelThe Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.

What the English-language press had to say…

This week’s most important headline was the capture of Miguel Angel Treviño MoralesZ40 head of Zetas Cartel and one of Mexico’s most brutal drug lords. The capture of Mr. Treviño is the first arrest of a top cartel leader since Mr. Peña Nieto took office. During the capture, a navy helicopter intercepted the truck which Mr. Treviño was riding. The capture may have remarkably weaken Zetas, a cartel Mr Treviño Morales is believed to have controlled for about eight years, however, other Mexican cartels such as the Sinaloa and Caballeros Templarios remain powerful.


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Mexico brings out the big bazooka

July 16, 2013

financeFinancial Times, 7/16/2013

It’s the big bazooka that many have been waiting for. With Mexico’s economy posting a lacklustre start to the year, economists have been counting on a pick-up in government spending to help pick up the slack. And open its wallet the government did. On Monday, President Enrique Peña Nieto unveiled a long-awaited 1.3tn peso ($102bn) investment plan to upgrade the country’s transportation and telecommunications infrastructures.

Including investments from the private sector, total infrastructure spending could hit 4tn pesos ($314.2bn) between now and 2018, said Peña Nieto. That would represent nearly a third of Mexico’s annual gross domestic product.

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In Mexico, low-income homeowners watch their dreams crumble

June 27, 2013

House in OaxacaThe Christian Science Monitor, 6/26/2013

Mexico has one of the largest housing gaps in Latin America: More citizens need quality homes with access to infrastructure and services than currently exist. As more people move to urban areas in search of a middle class life, Mexico will need to build 8.5 million new homes over the next 12 years in order to meet demand, according to the Inter-American Development Bank. So why, then, do so many homes in Mexico sit empty?

Twelve years ago, this seemed like an unlikely outcome. The government was on a campaign to construct more affordable homes, with an eye toward expanding home ownership, boosting social mobility, and stimulating the economy. As a result, millions of homes were built. Some 4.3 million mortgages were issued by the government-backed lender, Infonavit, and its partners between 2001 and 2011. But there was a catch: Many of the homes bought with these loans were constructed on the fringe of urban areas and failed to meet minimum standards.

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Mexico paving new future for Devil’s Backbone

April 26, 2010

USA Today, 4/26/2010

Farms in the thickly forested area here are a major source of marijuana and opium cultivation and the cartels that control the drug trade use gruesome violence to settle scores. The people who live here have few choices for work given that no highways and the commerce they bring have penetrated the Sierra Madre.

But the Devil’s Backbone is undergoing surgery. The Mexican government has launched a massive road construction project to straighten and modernize the road, an engineering feat that will require 63 tunnels and 32 bridges, including the world’s second-highest road bridge.

The new highway will provide easy access to and from the Pacific Coast, its ports and tourist destinations, cutting the drive time from 8 hours to 2½ hours. Mexican authorities say the faster ride will open up industrial cities to the region, maybe even persuade carmakers and other companies that pay good wages to supplant the drug trade.

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Mexico’s Stimulus Plan Comes at a Critical Time

January 8, 2009

Wilson Center Expert Sources, 1/8/2009

Mexican President Felipe Calderon outlined his plan to revive his nation’s economy Wednesday, andrew-seleehoping to bolster it against a slide caused by the U.S. credit crisis. The most crucial parts of the plan include infrastructure development as well as measures for utilities and the private sector, said Andrew Selee, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

“Mexico’s economic stimulus plan couldn’t come at a better time,” Selee said. “The $42 billion for infrastructure is probably the most important part of the plan, but the support for unemployed workers, a freeze in electricity and gas prices, and aid to struggling companies will be important as well.”

Selee also sees this as a chance for Mexico and the United States to help each other develop the border region between them. “Let’s hope that the Obama and Calderon administrations keep in close contact on their stimulus plans,” Selee said. “There is a real opportunity here for the two governments to use a small part of the stimulus packages in both countries to develop the border region, which has significant deficits in infrastructure and employment.”

“This could stimulate the economies of border communities in both countries while making them more safe and secure. But that requires dialogue and creative thinking.”

Reporters may reach Andrew Selee at 202-691-4399 or by email at

Mexico takes urgent economy steps

January 8, 2009

BBC News, 1/8/2009413px-felipe_calderon_sin_fondo_i1

The Mexican government has unveiled emergency measures to protect its economy from the global financial crisis and US recession. President Felipe Calderon said Mexico was facing a period of great difficulty and rising unemployment. He promised nearly $150m to struggling industries in a bid to save hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The measure is part of a 25-point plan that includes freezing petrol prices and increasing unemployment benefits. He said the measures being taken would protect half a million jobs, mostly in export industries that depend heavily on the US market. A further 250,000 jobs will be created by the bringing forward of several planned infrastructure projects such as road repairs and restoration of historic sites.

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