Politician gunned down in western Mexico

July 28, 2014

07/27/14 Fox News Latino

PRI logoThe leader of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, in Nuevo Urecho, a city in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, was gunned down by hitmen suspected of being on the payroll of a drug cartel, state prosecutors said.

Arturo Alejandro Ramos was walking down a street Friday night in Zuracuaretiro, a city next to Nuevo Urecho, when he was shot, the Michoacan Attorney General’s Office said.

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A trashy tale

April 7, 2014

MEXICO CONGRESSThe Economist, 4/5/14

It didn’t take long for Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to react to the seriousness of the sex scandal erupting around it on April 2nd. Just hours after Cuauhtémoc Gutiérrez de la Torre, the party’s president in Mexico City, publicly denied a report that he kept a network of prostitutes on the party payroll for his personal use, the PRI put him on leave and called for a police investigation.

The story by MVS News, one of Mexico’s most influential radio programmes, is colourful and the allegations it makes are potentially very sordid. Mr Gutiérrez, as heavy-set as an ox, comes from a family that made a fortune on Mexico City’s rubbish tips. His murdered father (a former PRI stalwart) was known as the “King of Rubbish”. Heading the PRI in Mexico City is the highest office he has held, although the party has not ruled there since 1997. His office issued a statement saying the MVS report was “deceitful, ill-intentioned and slanderous” and that Mr Gutiérrez himself wanted an investigation.

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Vanished

January 10, 2014

 

hands in handcuffsForeign 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.)

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What Does Mexico’s Oil Industry Reform Mean For Investors?

December 16, 2013

Forbes, 12/16/2013

Ancient Mayan pyramid, KukulcanLast week Mexico’s Congress approved a bill to end a seven-decade long state oil monopoly. In coming years foreign companies could invest as much as $20 billion a year in Mexico’s oil sector, thanks to new rules that will allow production sharing.

Although the energy reform bill, spearheaded by Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto during his first year in office, has been vociferously opposed by Mexico’s left, the bill has the backing of Peña’s centrist PRI party as well as the right-of-center party of former President Felipe Calderon. Together the PRI and the PAN had enough votes to push the bill through Congress, where it was approved 353-134.

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Country of the Year? Try Mexico

December 16, 2013

Christian Science Monitor, 12/15/2013

Mexican Flag XXLLast week’s approval of reforms for the pivotal oil company Pemex caps a year of major reforms that could transform Mexico – and perhaps change the immigration debate in the US.

If an award could be given in 2013 for Country of the Year, Mexico might deserve it. No other country has done more this past year to put reforms in place to transform a nation – and with startling democratic consensus. The latest reform, approved Thursday by elected lawmakers, will allow foreign and private investment in the oil sector for the first time in more than 70 years. The move upends a notion of Mexican patriotism that stated the national identity rests on government monopoly of the petroleum industry.

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Mexico’s Pride, Its Oil, May Reopen to Big Multinationals

December 12, 2013

Peña Nieto

The New York Times, 12/12/2013

Every gas station in Mexico is stamped with the green-and-white logo of the state-owned oil monopoly, the economic lifeblood of the government. Oil Expropriation Day, commemorating the day Mexico seized control of the industry from multinationals in 1938, is celebrated with speeches and even parades in some towns. An old song, “The Oil Worker Hymn,” credits oil with “saving our fatherland.”

But now, President Enrique Peña Nieto, in what could be the biggest economic change in two decades, is on the verge of rewriting the constitution to open Mexico’s oil, gas and electricity industry to private investment — a provocative move that could shake up the North American energy industry and test the storied grip Mexico’s oil has had on its soul.

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Mexico Lower House Passes Oil Overhaul to End State Monopoly

December 12, 2013

energy - oil barrelsBloomberg, 12/12/2013

Mexico’s lower house passed an energy bill that ends Petroleos Mexicanos’s 75-year oil monopoly in a bid to attract foreign investment and boost growth.

Lawmakers approved the bill in general terms in a 354-134 vote late yesterday and continue to discuss minority-party challenges to specific articles. If these are rejected, the initiative will be sent to Mexico’s states, where it’s likely to receive approval from more than half of the legislatures, the threshold for changing the constitution.

The bill, passed by the Senate two days ago, would change Mexico’s charter to permit companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Chevron Corp. (CVX) to drill for oil for the first time since 1938. It would allow production sharing and licenses for outside companies that will also be able to log crude reserves for accounting purposes. Supporters say it will boost economic growth, while opponents say it will funnel the nation’s resource wealth to foreign investors.

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