January 24, 2014
Abc News, January 24, 2014
“Drink the water.” It’s a suggestion alien to Mexico City residents who have long shunned tap water in favor of the bottled kind and to the throngs of tourists who visit the city each year, bringing with them fears of “Montezuma’s Revenge.” But a law recently approved by Mexico City’s legislators will require all restaurants to install filters so they can offer patrons free, drinkable water that won’t lead to stomach problems and other ailments.
“We need to create a culture of water consumption,” said Dr. Jose Armando Ahued, health secretary for Mexico City. “We need to accept our water.” Bad tap water accounts in part for Mexico being the world’s top consumer of bottled water and — worse — soda, some 43 gallons per person a year. With an obesity epidemic nationwide, the city’s health department decided to back the water initiative.
January 24, 2014
The Huffington Post, 01/23/2014
There are those would say that present-day Mexico is an example of the famous phrase of Giuseppe di Lampedusa (about Sicily of the Risorgimento) that everything has changed so that everything may go on just as it was. And others say that Mexico has not changed at all. I disagree with both views. I have been a witness — from various perspectives — to my country’s political life for almost fifty years and I am quite sure of one thing: Mexico has really changed.
January 22, 2014
Since Jan. 1, Colorado has had a legal marijuana market. The same will soon be true in Washington State, once retail licenses are issued. Other states, such as California and Oregon, will likely follow suit over the next three years.
So does this creeping legalization of marijuana in the U.S. spell doom for the Mexican drug cartels? Not quite. The illegal marijuana trade provides Mexican organized crime with about $1.5 billion to $2 billion a year. That’s not chump change, but according to a number of estimates, it represents no more than a third of gross drug export revenue. Cocaine is still the cartels’ biggest money-maker and the revenue accruing from heroin and methamphetamine aren’t trivial. Moreover, Mexican gangs also obtain income from extortion, kidnapping, theft and various other types of illegal trafficking. Losing the marijuana trade would be a blow to their finances, but it certainly wouldn’t put them out of business.
January 17, 2014
The Huffington Post, 01/15/2017
After a year of unprecedented change, Mexico faces a post-reform landscape in 2014. Attention will focus on bringing the economy back to life after 2013′s downturn, improving security after a number of glaring setbacks and ensuring that political stability is maintained, despite staunch opposition from numerous social groups that have rejected many of the new reforms. Given these challenges, 2014 will be crucial for setting the tone of Enrique Peña Nieto’s next five years in office, as both the government and the opposition adjust their strategies to the new rules of the game.
January 17, 2014
In Latin America, this looks to be the year of Brazil — thanks to the impending World Cup and presidential elections. But with another lackluster year looming in emerging markets, fans of transformation, growth and investment potential should instead look to Mexico.
Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, is expected to win a second term this year, and its soccer team stands a good shot at victory. But growth has slowed considerably. In the world’s seventh largest economy, reforms are stagnating and the country faces a possible ratings downgrade.
Mexico, by contrast, is in the throes of serious reforms. It will likely lead Latin America with at least 4 percent growth this year and an improving investment outlook. Standard & Poor’s recently boosted Mexico’s credit ratings because of energy reforms that the rating company trumpeted last month as a “watershed moment” for the country. It is becoming a story of inverted fortunes, as Michael Shifter and Cameron Combs of the Inter-American Dialogue recently wrote.
January 16, 2014
Latin Times, 01/14/2014
Reuters reported on Monday that President Barack Obama will travel on February 19 to Toluca, Mexico, where he will meet with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at a summit of North American leaders. When Obama touches down on Mexican soil, Animal Politico notes, it will be the fifth time since he entered the White House in 2008 that the president has done so, making Mexico the country he has most frequently visited – eclipsing France, to which he has traveled on four occasions.
The first two visits came in 2009, during the tenure of now-ex-president Felipe Calderón, with whom Obama discussed US-Mexico cooperation on the war against drugs and responses to the financial crisis in which the United States remained sunk. Nearly three years later, in 2012, they met again to talk another financial crisis – the one over European debt – but last May, when newly elected Peña Nieto greeted Obama, there was much talk of turning the page in US-Mexico relations. Peña Nieto had campaigned on a promise to scale back the military presence in hotbeds of cartel activity and aim less for high-profile kingpin arrests – which often triggered fights for control in the power vacuums it left – than his predecessor.
January 16, 2014
The Washington Times, 01/13/2014
President Obama will travel to Toluca, Mexico, on Feb. 19 for a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the White House announced Monday.
The gathering of North American leaders will focus on “issues important to the daily lives of all of North America’s people, including economic competitiveness, entrepreneurship, trade and investment and citizen security,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters
January 13, 2014
The Washington Post, 01/10/2014
More than 3,000 feet below the waves in the the Gulf of Mexico, with a drill bit wider than a human thigh, Mexico is digging for its future.
The gulf is one of the world’s great largely unexplored reservoirs of oil and gas, industry experts say, but the state-run oil monopoly Pemex so far has lacked the money and technical capacity to extract from its deeper waters. Now that the country has passed legislation opening up its beleaguered oil industry to outsiders for the first time in 75 years, the government is hoping that future partnerships with foreign companies to drill for hard-to-access undersea oil will mean billions of dollars of new revenue.
January 10, 2014
Foreign Policy, 01/06/2014
On Dec. 1, 2012, Enrique Peña Nieto was inaugurated as Mexico’s 57th president in the midst of a horrific wave of drug violence. More than 100,000 people had been killed in the six years since his predecessor, Felipe Calderón, had declared a “war on drugs” and deployed the Mexican Army to tackle the country’s powerful drug cartels.
Peña Nieto’s victory marked the return of Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which had governed uninterrupted for over 70 years until it was unseated in 2000. During its reign, the PRI had perfected a model for controlling virtually every aspect of Mexican life, including drug trafficking. Peña Nieto — young, polished, and Ken-doll handsome — pledged to end Calderón’s war without returning to the PRI’s old “pact,” which had allowed Mexico’s cartels to operate as long as they played by certain rules and gave the government its cut. Yet Peña Nieto offered few details, during his campaign and his first months in office, as to how his approach to the cartels would be different.
Nor did Peña Nieto offer a plan for dealing with one of the most nefarious aspects of Mexico’s drug war: disappearances. This omission was particularly troubling given that, on Nov. 29, 2012 — two days before Peña Nieto was sworn in — a government list had been exposed showing that more than 25,000 people had been disappeared or had otherwise gone missing during Calderón’s term. (The list was leaked to the Washington Post by a government analyst who suspected that neither Calderón’s nor Peña Nieto’s administration would ever release the staggering number.)
January 10, 2014
Mexico Institute Director Duncan Wood and Associate Christopher Wilson responded to the U.S. Department of Commerce Federal Register Notice published on November 25, 2013, which requested stakeholder input on the U.S.‐Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED)
In their comments, they noted that Mexico and the United States share an economic space and an economic future, and that the HLED is an important and potentially fruitful element in moving that future forward and maximizing the benefits for both countries. They stated that it should be both consolidated through high‐level engagement and institutionalization, and broadened to include a greater dialogue with the private sector and civil society and an expanded focus on border affairs.
Read their testimony here.