December 6, 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 the Washington Post noted that Mexico’s Senate passed the most dramatic political reform attempt in decades which would allow re-election of federal legislators, create new election oversight and make the Attorney General’s office independent from the executive. It also highlighted that the Senate is moving on to energy reform, which is considered the most critical part of the reform package that President Enrique Peña Nieto is pushing to have passed before the end of this year. The Economist noted that it will be difficult for Mexico´s left to stop the Energy Reform after Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador suffered a heart attack on December 3rd. His absence weakened a blockade of the Senate that he had promised. Meanwhile, the Financial Post was not enthusiastic over the Energy Reform. In an article published this week, it argued that that even if the proposed reform is passed within a year, it could take up to 10 years for production to begin in the deep-sea reserves. Additionally, the profit-sharing contracts may not be as profitable as anticipated, as the terms under the proposal stipulate that foreign companies would receive a share of the revenues from the fields, rather than the oil and gas to sell themselves.
In another note, the BBC reported on Wednesday that a truck carrying medical radioactive material had been stolen near Mexico City. Mexico’s Nuclear Security Commission said that at the time of the theft, the cobalt-60 teletherapy source was “properly shielded”. Nonetheless, the Washington Post noted on Thursday, that the theft of the material sparked international concern over the possibility that the cobalt-60 could be used in a “dirty bomb.” By Wednesday afternoon, the same news outlet reported that authorities had found the stolen the radioactive material. The National Journal claimed that after the theft, a group of critics questioned if the International Atomic Energy Agency’s radiological security rules were enough for securing radioactive materials.
Read the rest of this entry »
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 4, 2013
Fugitive drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero sent a letter to the Mexican government asking officials not to give in to the United States’ demand for his capture and extradition to try him for the 1985 killing of a U.S. federal agent.
Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam confirmed on Tuesday that he received the letter, which was also addressed to President Enrique Pena Nieto and the Interior Ministry. He said excerpts that appeared in the investigative magazine Proceso were correct, but would not elaborate further on its contents.
February 27, 2013
By Duncan Wood, 2/27/2012
La jugada del experto-The Expert Take in Spanish
Yesterday’s PGR arrest of Elba Esther Gordillo on charges of embezzlement marks a bold step forward by the Pena Nieto administration to establish its authority and legitimacy in the eyes of the Mexican public, and to send a message to Mexico’s most powerful unions. The arrest comes after the successful passage of an education reform bill through Congress, earning the government plaudits from international observers, who saw it as a much-needed attack on the power of the teachers union, the SNTE, but receiving a skeptical response from many national critics who believed that the government would not follow through with implementation of the new laws. This new development destroys those doubts about the seriousness of the Pena Nieto government to take on the union, and to mobilize the sovereign power of the state against vested interests.
Read the rest of this entry »
December 7, 2012
El Universal, 12/06/2012
President Enrique Peña Nieto appointed three new assistant attorneys that will join the PGR run by Jesús Murillo Karam and emphasizes the inclusion of people close to the president and a PAN politician.
The three appointees are Alfredo Castillo Cervantes, Ricardo Francisco García Cervantes, and Mariana Benítez.
October 1, 2012
ABC News, 9/30/12
The U.S. government’s botched Fast and Furious gun-trafficking operation left a trail of bullets and bodies in Mexico. In a special investigation by Univision News, which aired Sunday night, several new revelations came to light…
Andrew Selee, vice president for programs at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C. says the Mexican government was aware of the gun-walking, in spite of releasing a statement saying they were not.
William Newell, the special agent in charge of ATF’s Phoenix field division and one of the supervisors of Fast and Furious, told Univision, via his attorney, that the Procuraduria General De La Republica (PGR) in Mexico was certainly aware of the operation.
September 17, 2012
El Pais, 9/16/12
The PGR has formally announced that the Zetas have in fact split and are warring among themselves. They have been announcing the split (each side accusing the other of being disloyal) in narcomantas and narcocorridos so the break has been expected for some time. Various analysts who study Mexico have predicted that the break will bring more violence.
August 29, 2012
Animal Politico, 8/29/12
A federal judge ordered the arrest of the ex-governor of Tamaulipas, Tomás Yarrington, on charges of laundering money for the Gulf Cartel. Apparently the accusations against him have been verified by three different protected witnesses. The “Yarrington case” started in May when a federal Attorney Generals Office in the U.S. accused Yarrington of becoming governor by using illicit drug proceeds, which he also invested in Texas, which led to them seizing his properties.
July 31, 2012
El Universal, 7/24/12
According to Attorney General Marisela Morales, micro-trafficking is a major source of violence in Mexico as groups fight over local drug trafficking corners. She said this while inaugurating the new Strategic Operation Center [COE por sus siglas en Español] in Puebla. The Center will fight local trafficking and drug addiction, and its creation was accomplished through coordination between the federal and local government.
June 26, 2012
InSight Crime, 6/25/12
According to a study by Mexico’s lower house of Congress, the authorities are failing to seize assets linked to organized crime, despite a recent law intended to streamline the process.
The study found that between 2010 and 2011, only three cases involving the seizure of assets resulted in a ruling favorable to the government. Last year the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) initiated 10 cases involving the seizure of property or other goods linked to organized crime, but so far 2012 hasn’t seen any new cases.