How Mexico got so fat

July 8, 2013

Obese manGlobal Post, 7/8/2013

Modern Mexicans’ urban lifestyle, rising incomes and myriad consumption vices have fed a seemingly endless struggle that’s killing thousands more of them each year. Yep, we’re talking the desperate Battle of the (body) Bulge. Even as nearly half its people are poor and as officials launch a national anti-hunger campaign, Mexico by some accounts recently has replaced the United States as the chubbiest on the globe.

Diabetes and cardiovascular ills spike, plus sizes cram clothing racks and Mexicans keep eating, eating, eating. While cutting across class lines, the crisis disproportionately hits the poor and the young, malnourishment and obesity stalking them in tandem. “The same people who are malnourished are the ones who are becoming obese,” said physician Abelardo Avila with Mexico’s National Nutrition Institute. “In the poor classes we have obese parents and malnourished children. The worst thing is the children are becoming programmed for obesity. It’s a very serious epidemic.”

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The financial dividend of immigration reform

June 21, 2013

taxes -- counting coinsThe Washington Post, 6/20/2013

Throughout American history, the story of immigration has been tinged by emotions and fear as millions of people abandoned the old and took a brave and often risky leap into the new. It has also been a tale of remarkable cultural blending. Less well understood but still important, immigration has been a story of economics. From the Europeans who fled war and famine in earlier epochs to the Latin American, Asian and other immigrants of today, new arrivals are often strivers, entrepreneurs, innovators and just plain hard workers.

This grand historical experience is the secret behind the dry numbers in a new report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that estimates the fiscal and economic impact of the immigration reform legislation taking shape in the Senate. Not surprisingly, budget analysts found that a net increase of 10.4 million people living in the United States over the next decade, and an increase of 16 million over 20 years, would be a tremendous shot in the arm. The CBO has confirmed a gritty street truth about immigration: For all the difficulties and burdens, it is a net plus to the economy. Every senator and congressman who has campaigned in recent years for more economic growth and productivity, who has railed against the budget deficit and lamented the slow recovery, ought to read the sober and persuasive assessment of the CBO on immigration reform.

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Quality of life gap between U.S. & Mexican border communities decreased between 2000 & 2010 – #MexFacts

May 22, 2013

MexFact - SOTB3

To learn more, join us TOMORROW, Thursday, May 23 beginning at 3:30pm (EDT) for the launch of “The State of the Border Report.”

Live webcast: http://bit.ly/StateofBorder


OAS Report Presents Legalization as ‘Drug War’ Alternative

May 22, 2013

marijuana leafThe Pan-American Post

On Friday, the Organization of American States (OAS) released a highly anticipated report on drugs and drug trafficking in the hemisphere, which for the first time includes decriminalization and legalization as potential and valid policy options in the hemisphere. Perhaps the most surprising conclusion in the report comes after its assertion that drug use must be addressed as a public health issue.  According to the OAS, “decriminalization of drug use needs to be considered as a core element in any public health strategy.” The report’s authors write that a shift is already underway to emphasize prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, as well as a change “from viewing drug users as criminals or accomplices of drug-traffickers to seeing them as victims and chronic addicts.”

Of course, decriminalization and legalization have long been opposed by the biggest market for illicit drugs in the hemisphere: the United States. Even as it has embraced the idea of drug policy as a public health issue, the U.S. has firmly rejected legalization as a solution to drug violence. This position was recently echoed by U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske in an op-ed in Colombia’s El Tiempo. However, with marijuana legalized in Colorado and Washington, and seven states likely to follow in the next few years, the government’s foreign policy position on drug legalization seems untenable. A potential test of this stance will come next week when Vice President Joe Biden arrives in Colombia next week as part of a regional tour.

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Click here to read the first and second parts of the OAS report.


Long & unpredictable border wait times cost billions of dollars a year – #MexFacts

May 21, 2013

MexFact - SOTB2

Interested in learning more about “The State of the Border”?Join us this Thursday, May 23 starting at 3:30pm (EDT): http://bit.ly/StateofBorder


EVENT: Launch of The State of the Border Report

May 16, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013 / 3:30 – 5:30 pm / Wilson Center

Details & RSVP: http://bit.ly/StateofBorder

Event Flyer

In conjunction with the North American Center for Transborder Studies and El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute is pleased to invite you to the launch of The State of the Border Report.

The report provides a comprehensive look at the state of affairs in the management of the U.S.-Mexico border and the border region, focusing on four core areas: trade and competitiveness, security, sustainability, and quality of life.


MAY 6 EVENT: Thinking Regionally to Compete Globally

May 1, 2013

May 6 - Regional Migration Event

On May 6 — just days after President Obama sits down with Mexican and Central American leaders to discuss economic growth, citizen security, and migration — the Regional Migration Study Group will issue a final report outlining its findings and offering recommendations to policymakers and civil society in the region. Please join us for an event in Washington where the Co-Chairs will present the Study Group’s principal findings and consider the implications for the future of the region. Copies of the final report will be available at the event.

Click here to RSVP…


THIS THURSDAY: “New Ideas for a New Era”

April 30, 2013

coverWHEN: Thursday, May 2, 2013 from 9-10:30am

WHERE: 5th Floor Woodrow Wilson Center

On the same day that President Obama begins his trip to Latin America, the authors of the Mexico Institute’s new policy report will present their recommendations for strengthening U.S.-Mexico relations. President Obama and President Peña Nieto will meet in the context of booming bilateral trade, a major U.S. effort to reform immigration law, a potential Mexican energy reform, and ongoing but evolving cooperation in addressing public security and organized crime. The discussion will touch on each of these topics, as well as other issues in the bilateral relationship.

To RSVP, click here…


NEW REPORT: Mexican Migration to the US – Economic Factors & Future Flows (Spanish)

April 4, 2013

mpi report picThe latest publication by the Regional Migration Study Group – a collaboration between the Woodrow Wilson Center and the Migration Policy Institute – addresses the economic factors that have influenced Mexican migration to the United States, and attempts to construct scenarios on how these migratory flows might change in the near future.

Click here to read the report…


The majority of poor in Mexico are children – UN report

April 4, 2013

education - school childrenUN News Centrer, 4/3/2013

More than 20 million children and adolescents in Mexico are estimated to live in poverty, and five million of them in extreme poverty, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today reported in a joint study with the Mexican Government. “The economy has grown well over the past years but this does not always mean that the poor are better off,” said the UNICEF Representative in Mexico, Isabel Crowley. “The human development indexes in some parts of Mexico are close to those of some of the world’s least developed countries.”

According to the ‘Child and Adolescent Poverty and Social Rights in Mexico’ study, produced by UNICEF and the national social policy evaluation agency CONEVAL, children are overrepresented among the poor. According to 2010 figures, 46.2 per cent of Mexico’s residents lived in poverty – a figure that rises to 53.8 per cent among children.

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