Raymond becomes major hurricane as it nears Mexico

October 21, 2013

USA Today, 10/21/2013

hurricaneHurricane Raymond strengthened to a Category 3 storm early Monday and threatened to hurl heavy new rains onto a sodden region of Mexico’s Pacific Coast already devastated by last month’s Tropical Storm Manuel.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the newly formed storm had nearly stalled offshore, about 165 miles west-southwest of Acapulco, and it was expected to move a little closer to the coast by Tuesday before veering back out to sea on Wednesday.

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Floods Devastate an Already Bankrupt and Blood-Soaked Acapulco

October 17, 2013

acapulcoThe New York Times, 10/17/2013

Gangland violence and looming bankruptcy had already all but obliterated the glitter of Acapulco before catastrophic flooding last month drove crocodiles onto the streets of the Mexican beach resort and turned much of it into a mud bath.

Once a playground for the rich and famous, by 2012 Acapulco had become the murder capital of Mexico, mired in a cycle of brutal slayings, kidnappings and extortion as drug gangs fought for control of the former pirate cove.
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The Mexico Institute Extends Condolences to Those Affected by Ingrid and Manuel

October 7, 2013

Photo by Flickr user pixman v2.0

The Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars offers its deepest condolences and sympathies to those who have lost loved ones or have otherwise been affected by the hurricanes. We extend our solidarity to the Mexican government and to all those carrying-out efforts to help victims.

We are proud to announce that a number of Mexico Institute Corporate Advisory Board members are involved with relief efforts. For more information, please click on the following links: ITAM, Banamex/Citi Bank, J.P. Morgan-Mexico, FEMSA, Latin-America Group Coca-Cola, Grupo Lala, CEMEX, Wal-Mart.

Please visit the Mexican Red Cross website for information on how to make a donation.


Mexico Finds 10 More Bodies; Death Toll at 157

October 3, 2013

Cruz Roja Mexican by Flickr user pixman v2.0The New York Times, 10/02/2013

Searchers have found 10 more bodies of victims from twin storms that struck the country’s Pacific and Gulf coasts at the same time last month, raising the death toll to 157, Mexico’s government said Wednesday.

Statistics sent by civil protection officials to The Associated Press said a total of 155 people had died across the states hit by the storms’ heavy rain. But the head of the agency, Luis Felipe Puente, said later Wednesday that the toll had risen to 157.

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Mexico Floods Will Not Affect Proposed 2013, 2014 Budget Deficits – Government

September 30, 2013

Enrique PeñaNieto 2The New York Times, 9/28/2013

Mexico’s proposed budget deficit goals for this year and 2014 will not be affected by some of the worst storm damage in decades, the Finance Ministry said on Saturday.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto had previously said Congress would revise its proposed 2014 budget in the wake of the storms this month, which killed at least 147 people and left large swaths of the country under water, buckling bridges and destroying highways.

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Mexican officials blasted for handling of storms crisis

September 27, 2013

Journalists face an evironment of heightened violence in MexicoLos Angeles Times, 9/26/2013

As the death toll continues to rise from twin storms that flooded much of Mexico, government officials are coming under intense criticism for their handling of the crisis, for failing to act on warnings, and for allowing shoddy construction that exacerbated the destruction.

Angel Aguirre, governor of Guerrero, the hardest-hit state, has been singled out for chastisement since it was revealed that he was at an all-night party with other politicians as the storm bore down on his state’s tourism gem, Acapulco, and numerous mountain villages that would be cut off for days and where the most people died.

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La Pintada: the village wiped from the map of Mexico

September 27, 2013

Mexico BricksBBC News, 9/27/2013

Margarito Hernandez is still numb with grief. Answering at times with barely a murmur, at others in great torrents of words, he recounts the worst night of his life: Mexican Independence Day 2013.

The 18-year-old carpenter is from La Pintada, the small village in the mountains of Guerrero which was last week almost completely destroyed by a mudslide caused by the torrential rains of Hurricane Manuel.

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Mexico to escape recession after floods, but risks to growth rise: Reuters poll

September 26, 2013

bridge with trafficReuters, 9/25/2013

Mexico is unlikely to be dragged into recession by severe flooding that has laid waste to large areas of farmland, destroyed homes and killed dozens of people, but the flooding has increased risk, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.

Mexican gross domestic product (GDP) suffered a surprise contraction of 0.7 percent in the second quarter compared with the previous three month period after eking out growth of less than one tenth of a point in the January-March period.

That stumbling performance has put Latin America’s second biggest economy on track for its worst year since 2009.

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Storms Rain on Mexico’s Budding Second-Half Recovery

September 26, 2013

PENA NIETO-OSCAR NARANJOThe Wall Street Journal, 9/25/2013

The widespread flooding and damage caused by two major storms that hit Mexico this month came just as the country’s economy was showing signs of recovering from a dismal first half of the year, threatening to put another dent in the country’s growth.

The government has yet to quantify the damage caused when Tropical Storm Manuel hit the Pacific coast and Hurricane Ingrid landed on the Gulf coast, but Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said it’s certain to exceed the $1 billion the government has in its natural disaster fund and insurance against catastrophes. The official said it was too early to talk of effects on economic growth.
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Mexico’s storms: Should governments put emphasis on climate change prevention?

September 26, 2013

hurricaneThe Christian Science Monitor, 9/24/2013

A week after twin storms pounded Mexico’s Pacific and Gulf coasts, questions are swirling as to how the floods, landslides and overall devastation from the rains could have been prevented.

Many point to the need for better advance planning: flood prevention, building code enforcement, and political capital to plan for the long term, among other measures that may have helped curb the damage and minimize the still-climbing death toll.

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