May 21, 2013
Associated Press, 5/20/2013
A U.S. judge ordered attorneys for Wal-Mart Stores to turn over more information to shareholders seeking records on how the company responded to allegations of bribery involving its operations in Mexico. The judge on Monday suggested that Wal-Mart attorneys had taken a “persnickety and narrow” approach to turning over documents requested by attorneys for large pension funds trying to find out what, and when, company directors knew of the payments.
The plaintiffs also want information about an internal investigation conducted by Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart into allegations that bribes were used to speed building permits and gain other favors. The bribery allegations, first reported by The New York Times last year, were carried out by top executives of its Mexican subsidiary to build stores across that country.
May 20, 2013
Interested in learning more about “The State of the Border”?
Join us Thursday, May 23, 2013 starting at 3:30pm:
May 20, 2013
For those who live along the U.S.-Mexico border, especially in large cities, the relationship between the two countries is different than for those who live elsewhere in the U.S. It’s difficult for those outside this area to understand, because despite the line that legally separates the two countries, the people both north and south of it, are neighbors. They depend on each other for economic vibrancy, personal relationships and cultural attachment. In spite of the backlash against illegal immigration and the fear of out-of-control drug violence along the Mexican side of the border, border cities in the U.S. have a unique relationship with their neighbor to the south.
Recently, San Diego’s Mayor Bob Filner looked across the border to Tijuana as a new business partner. For him, as for most of the politicians in the San Diego area, it’s not about “us versus them.” It’s about all of us. Together. According to a recent New York Times article, Filner has opened a satellite office in Tijuana. He also says he plans to place a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics to be hosted jointly with Tijuana. When either Filner or the Mayor of Tijuana, Carlos Bustamante, refer to the area, they speak of us—not of “us and them.”
May 17, 2013
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 / 9-11am / Wilson Center
Details & RSVP: http://bit.ly/MexPo
At a time when the bilateral security relationship between the U.S. and Mexico is going through a period of change, and when the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto is developing its own public security strategy, the Mexico Institute is pleased to present an event examining the role of standards in strengthening policing institutions. Three experts on security and policing standards will speak on the importance of developing standards for hiring, promotion, ethics, behavior and retirement in the policing field, and how to overcome the challenges that exist to their full implementation. Join us for this discussion of a new area of bilateral cooperation in the security field.
May 17, 2013
The Christian Science Monitor, 5/16/2013
Everywhere in Mexico, from the megalopolis of Mexico City to the smallest farming community, the squeaking, creaking sounds of a tortillería churning out corn tortillas can be heard. Corn is the most important staple of the Mexican diet. Corn tortillas of many varieties – white, yellow, blue – figure into every meal of the day. The grain works its way into the national cuisine in endless other ways: The large kernels of hominy corn in rich pozole soup, as the base for spicy tamales, in sweet breads, and in hot, thick atole drinks. It’s native to Mexico, where some 59 indigenous strains of corn exist.
Which is why an emerging debate over whether to allow growers to cultivate genetically modified corn has heated up. Opponents of GMO corn have urged the Mexican government to ban GMO. To draw attention to their cause, on Thursday four local Greenpeace activists climbed a 335-foot monument on Mexico City’s busy Reforma Avenue and dropped a banner reading “No GMO” on the iconic Estela de Luz tower in protest, according to a Greenpeace spokeswoman.
May 16, 2013
International Center For Journalists, 4/24/2013
In Mexico, where more than 80 journalists have been killed since 2005, many assaults, beatings, threats, disappearances and abductions go unreported because victims and their families fear retribution. We need a safe way to report these attacks and to show the effect of violence on freedom of expression in Mexico. That’s why Freedom House and the International Center for Journalists are launching a new map to track attacks against journalists, Twitter and Facebook users, bloggers and citizens who use social media to report crime and corruption.
I am coordinating the map, called “Periodistas en Riesgo” (“Journalists at Risk”) as part of my ICFJ Knight International Journalism Fellowship. In my previous fellowship with ICFJ, I developed Mi Panamá Transparente, a map tracking crime and corruption in Panama based on reports from citizens and journalists. The map will be presented to the public April 25 in during an Internet Freedom panel in Mexico City organized by Hacks/Hackers Mexico, Freedom House, the International Center for Journalists and Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económica (Center for Research and Teaching in Economics).
May 16, 2013
By Andrew Wainer
Development in Practice Journal, Volume 23, Issue 2, 2013
This article analyses one of the causes of migration in rural Mexico through the lens of US foreign assistance policy. US aid to Mexico – the largest migrant-sending country to the USA by far – does not sufficiently take into account the conditions of rural under-development and joblessness that encourage unauthorised migration to the USA. Instead US foreign assistance has been dominated by aid to Mexico’s security agencies. This article analyses how the link between rural underdevelopment and migration-pressures has not been successfully addressed by either the Mexican or US governments. The article also analyses an innovative development project that explicitly seeks to support campesinos with the goal of reducing unauthorised migration pressures in a traditional migrant-sending rural region of Mexico.
May 16, 2013
In the last decade Mexico’s tech industry has flourished, growing three times faster than the global average. Most of that growth is fueled by demand from the United States. But without certain reforms Mexico’s progress can only go so far. On the cover of April’s edition of Forbes Magazine in Mexico is Blanca Treviño. She is the 53-year-old CEO of Softtek, the country’s biggest technology service.
Softtek spans four continents and provides software support to clients that include Fortune 500 companies. The business sector represented by Softtek is one that’s growing rapidly in Mexico thanks in large part to its proximity to the United States, the world’s largest consumer of tech services. “I think it’s safe to say that without the U.S. the Mexico market would not be doing very well,” said Morgan Yeates, an analyst with the IT consulting firm Gartner.
May 15, 2013
An amendment to a standing water treaty between the United States and Mexico has received publicity over the past six months as an example of progress in water sharing agreements. But the amendment, called Minute 319, is simply a glimpse into ongoing mismanagement of the Colorado River on the U.S. side of the border. Over-allocation of the river’s waters 90 years ago combined with increasing populations and economic growth in the river basin have created circumstances in which conservation efforts — no matter how organized — could be too little to overcome the projected water deficit that the Colorado River Basin will face in the next 20 years.
In 1922, the seven U.S. states in the Colorado River Basin established a compact to distribute the resources of the river. A border between the Upper and Lower basins was defined at Lees Ferry, Ariz. The Upper Basin (Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico) was allocated 9.25 billion cubic meters a year, and the Lower Basin (Arizona, California and Nevada) was allotted 10.45 billion cubic meters. Mexico was allowed an unspecified amount, which in 1944 was defined as 1.85 billion cubic meters a year. The Upper and Lower basins — managed as separate organizations under the supervision of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation — divided their allocated water among the states in their jurisdictions. Numerous disputes arose, especially in the Lower Basin, regarding proper division of the water resources. But the use of (and disputes over) the Colorado River began long before these treaties.
May 13, 2013
Loud laughter greeted Slim’s early remarks, and within a few minutes a major nonviolent protest erupted: kazoo-playing audience members trooped around the giant hall and left the building after flinging multicolored pieces of monopoly money into the air.
What was printed on that money? It bore the legend “$73 Billion Net Worth By Price Gouging & Overcharging.” And that’s when I realized that this moment represented a turning point: Monopoly communications industry behavior may finally become socially interesting in America. There are just a few steps between what’s happened in Mexico and what’s going on here in the United States.