December 6, 2013
Financial Times, 12/5/2013
Shortly after Nafta came into effect, Mexico suffered the crushing devaluation of the peso – the Tequila crisis – dashing hopes of imminent prosperity. As for democracy, fewer Mexicans today believe it is the best form of government than in 2000. Will the “Mexican moment” of Mr Peña Nieto’s government prove a similar disappointment?
December 6, 2013
Lawmakers in Mexico are considering a major change to their elections. For more than a century, the country has had the ultimate term limits: nobody can be re-elected.
December 4, 2013
The great controversy playing out over oil reform this month in Mexico will be central to Mexico’s economic future. Can declining oil production be turned around in order to support an expanding industrial economy rivaling the BRICs and become a global manufacturing hub? This oil reform is so important for Mexico that it is the number one plank in President Enrique Pena Nieto’s “Pact for Mexico” modernization program.
The outcome also matters a lot to the United States, both as a top trading partner and in terms of whether economic growth in Mexico will reduce illegal immigration and pressure on the border between the two countries.
December 4, 2013
The Washington Post, 12/4/2013
Mexico’s Senate has passed the most dramatic political reform attempt in decades that would allow re-election of federal legislators, create new election oversight and make the Attorney General’s office independent from the executive.
The Senate approved the overall reform late Tuesday, but continued to debate certain details early Wednesday. The reform measure still has to be approved by the lower House.
December 2, 2013
Global Post, 11/28/2013
The head of Mexico’s main leftist party said on Thursday it had pulled out of a cross-party pact on economic reform, which could push the government toward a more radical plan to spur investment in the oil industry wanted by conservatives.
Such a move could herald more intense opposition in the street to President Enrique Pena Nieto’s plans to open up the state-run energy industry to greater private investment.
December 2, 2013
USA Today, 12/1/2013
Peña Nieto arrived in office one year ago on Dec. 1, 2012, promising to calm the country and produce long-stalled structural reforms, which he said would allow Mexico to achieve 6% annual growth.
But Peña Nieto’s anniversary arrives amid a growing pessimism as the economy slumps, his agenda of structural reforms encounters resistance, and the security situation remains the same or worse in many places — prompting fed-up citizens in some areas to grab guns and organize vigilante groups.
November 15, 2013
The Globe and Mail, 11/15/2013
Just about everything except the mouths of politicians seems to the paralyzed in the U.S. political system, especially Congress. Getting one big thing done seems next to impossible.
In Canada, the government can get things through the Commons and Senate, courtesy of its majority in both houses. But negotiate with the opposition parties? Are you crazy?
In Mexico, by contrast, something remarkable and controversial is unfolding. In less than a year, President Enrique Pena Nieto and his party are negotiating with both other parties in Congress on an array of reforms that would leave the legislatures of Canada and the United States breathless.
October 29, 2013
The agreement on a political reform bill by the three main political parties in Mexico will likely prove crucial for the approval of the planned energy and fiscal reforms, said Nomura Securities in a research note.
Nomura sees political reform as a “bridge” to energy and fiscal reforms and if the bridge collapses, “fiscal or energy reforms would not be implemented.”
One of the chief obstacles for political reform has been that each party has its own version of measures and changes that such a reform should include, the investment bank said. It also noted that divisions within some parties have also translated into several proposals for a political reform.
August 30, 2013
The 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, teachers’ protests were one of the main topics on debate. Mexico City was (is) paralyzed by teachers who belong to the “Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación” union. The main driver of the protests, as reported by The Washington Post, is the Government’s intention to overhaul the nation’s public schools by changing how teachers are hired, fired and evaluated.
As reported on our previous Weekly Summary, the teachers blocked the Nation’s Congress forcing lawmakers to work on the city’s outskirts. They destroyed several cars and blocked the main roads to the airport, causing thousands of passengers to miss their flights. This week the protests continued. They forced Mexico City’s marathon to reroute, and as pointed out by The Washington Post, hundreds of ski-mask-wearing, rock-throwing, teachers smashed windows and set fire to the offices of the major political party in Guerrero. Thousands more flooded Mexico City, blocking national TV networks, subway lines and swarming the roads around Los Pinos, the official residence of the President.
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August 21, 2013
By Loren Steffy, Forbes, 8/19/2013
Undoing 75 years of law and national pride doesn’t happen quickly. Mexico made a significant step last week in loosening its restrictions on foreign investment in its oilfields, but determining the impact of those proposed reforms could take years to sort out.
While the changes proposed by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto would allow the government to offer some sort of profit-sharing to foreign oil companies, it stops short of enabling foreign companies to book reserves from Mexico. The proposal is designed to entice foreign investment while not offending Mexico’s sense of national pride surrounding its oil resources.