Meth-lab busts down; dealers getting drug from Mexico

November 18, 2014

11/17/14 USA Today 

Meth_User_400x602Law-enforcement agencies across Tennessee are trumpeting a drop in meth lab busts, but their excitement is tempered by a cheaper, stronger version of the drug coming from the same Mexican drug cartels that bring heroin and cocaine. Methamphetamine lab busts and seizures are down 41% across the state, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Other meth-heavy states such as Missouri and Oklahoma have seen similar trends this year.

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Death and corruption prove that the idea of a new Mexico was a mirage

November 18, 2014

11/15/14 The Guardian

Mexican Flag XXLIn Mexico, we are now living the end of a dream. In fact, it was always a mirage – the “Mexican moment” as it was called – created with the help of an intense campaign of public relations, a momentary economic surge, massaged statistics claiming a reduction in violence and reforms that, until now, exist only on paper. Then there is the well-groomed presidential figure of Enrique Peña Nieto. He framed himself not only as a reformer but as the very saviour of Mexico. Incredibly, he was honoured by an international press that is now flaying him. Since late September, the world has seen the raw, true face of the “moment”. Three students from a rural teachers’ college in Ayotzinapa were murdered and another 43 “disappeared” on 26 September in the city of Iguala, demonstrating collusion at all levels of the government with organised crime. It also showed the failure of Peña Nieto to guarantee peace, law and justice, each one elemental for the existence of a viable state.

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A Familiar Anger Begins to Boil Again in Mexico

November 17, 2014

11/15/14 New York Times

MIGUEL TOVAR / LATINCONTENT / GETTY

Miguel Tovar / Latincontent / Getty

The fate of 43 college students missing and presumed killed and burned to ashes in a mass abduction in September has bred ire and indignation in many corners of Mexico Andrew Selee, a Mexico scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, said isolated areas like Ciudad Juárez and Monterrey received more attention after mass killings, resulting in some drops in crime. But politicians have been unable to carry out effective anticorruption measures and a broad retooling of institutions.“Politicians of all parties have a great opportunity to make transparency and fighting corruption a banner that they all want to march behind, but it is an open question if that will happen,” Mr. Selee said. “Historically, there is a lot of tolerance for corruption in all the parties; no one wants to offend an ally or friend. But the political class risks losing more credibility with citizens if they don’t come out clearly to do something.”

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Pope laments ‘murder’ of missing Mexican students

November 13, 2014

11/12/14 Reuters

Reuters/Tony Gentile

Reuters/Tony Gentile

Pope Francis on Wednesday expressed his sorrow at what he said is clearly the murder of 43 missing Mexican students, though the government has yet to officially declare them dead after their abduction and apparent massacre in the southwest of the country in late September. Mexico’s government has said evidence suggests the 43 trainee teachers were handed over by corrupt police to members of a local drug gang who then incinerated them, but it has yet to confirm the deaths for lack of definitive proof. The case has plunged President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government into its biggest crisis and sparked huge protests. On Saturday night, some demonstrators set fire to the door of the ceremonial presidential palace in central Mexico City. “I’d like somehow to say that I am with the Mexicans, those present and those at home, in this painful moment of what is legally speaking disappearance, but we know, the murder of the students,” Francis said in his general audience in the Vatican.

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Scrutiny Rises on Mexico’s First Lady

November 13, 2014

11/12/14 Wall Street Journal 

Ma Ning / New China News Agency

Ma Ning / New China News Agency

Mexico’s leading television broadcaster gave two properties to the country’s first lady as part of her compensation package while she worked there as an actress on popular soap operas, according to company executives.The revelation could have political repercussions because it comes days after President Enrique Peña Nieto and first lady were put on the defensive by news about a family mansion that is registered in the name of a company whose owner has won big government contracts.It is also sensitive because the president has long been accused of having too close a relationship to the broadcasting company, Grupo Televisa SA B, despite government moves to rein in the power of the country’s oligopolies. “This represents a clear conflict of interest, as it shows the thin line between business and politics,” Javier Corral, a senator from the conservative National Action Party, said on Wednesday.

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Opening of the Mexican energy market will attract newcomers

November 12, 2014

11/12/14 Financial Times

Energy -electricity_transmission_linesHalliburton, the US oilfield services group, reported a tough year in Latin America in its latest quarterly earnings call. Profit margins and activity levels were weaker than expected, largely as a result of operational issues in Mexico. But it is not all looking so downbeat. “We’re . . . excited about the pace of Mexico energy reform and expect to see strong opportunities in shale, mature fields, and deepwater markets in the coming years,” says Dave Lesar, chief executive.

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China Railway Threatens Legal Action on Mexico Pullout

November 12, 2014

11/11/14 Bloomberg

Train Tracks by HeraldicosThe Chinese company whose $4.3 billion high-speed rail contract was canceled by Mexico threatened legal action amid news reports that one of the bid partners built a home for first lady Angelica Rivera. “Our company is extremely shocked” by the revocation, Beijing-based China Railway Construction Corp. (1186) said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. “We will resort to legal means to protect the company’s legitimate interest when it’s necessary.” Mexico rescinded the contract last week, citing “doubts and concerns” about the winning group, which included four Mexican partners. One, Constructora Teya, is part of a construction group known as Grupo Higa that built a home for President Enrique Pena Nieto’s family in Mexico City, Mexican news website Aristegui Noticias reported yesterday.

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