Mexico’s Cemex to slash debt faster as profit beats expectations

07/27/2016 Reuters

cemexMexico’s Cemex, one of the world’s largest cement producers, on Wednesday said it aims to cut debt over the next two years more than it previously planned as it reported that its quarterly profit unexpectedly surged by 81 percent.

Shares in Cemex rose more than 4.14 percent to 13.57 pesos by 1:25 p.m. local time.

The company said second-quarter net profit rose to $205 million, almost double analysts’ estimate of $107 million in a Reuters poll, boosted by its Mexico business and exchange rate gains.

Cemex also said it now aims to cut total debt by $3 billion to $3.5 billion in the next two years, up from a previous target of up to $2 billion. It aims to sell assets worth up to $2 billion, up from a previous goal of $1 billion to $1.5 billion.

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Mexican village uses fireflies to halt deforestation by local logging industry

07/27/2016 The Guardian

fireflies.jpgIn the village of Nanacamilpa, tiny fireflies are helping save the towering pine and fir trees on the outskirts of the megalopolis of Mexico City.

Thousands of them light up a magical spectacle at dusk in the old-growth forests on reserves such as the Piedra Canteada park, about 45 miles (75km) east ofMexico’s sprawling capital city.

Piedra Canteada in Tlaxcala state isn’t a government-run park, but a rural cooperative that has managed to emerge from poverty and dependence on logging with the help of the fireflies.

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Avocados From Mexico hires Weber Shandwick to raise its foodservice profile

07/27/2016 PR Week

avocado.jpgIRVING, TX: Avocados From Mexico has brought on Weber Shandwick as its foodservice advertising and PR AOR.

Weber started working with Avocados From Mexico, the marketing arm of Mexican Haas Avocado Importers Association and the Association of Growers and Packers of Avocados from Mexico, this month after it was selected in April following an RFP process that began in January. Three other firms pitched for the business, including incumbent Ketchum, Porter Novelli, and Sterling-Rice Group.

Weber is responsible for leading a comprehensive communications program to elevate Avocados From Mexico in the eyes of foodservice decision-makers as the only high-quality avocado available 365 days a year. Weber’s integrated campaign will include new advertising, paid media, earned media, social content, thought leadership, and strategic communications, said Susan Howe, president of the firm’s global consumer marketing practice.

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Homicides are on the rise in Mexico after years of decline, and it’s the result of a new criminal dynamic

07/28/2016 Business Insider

gun - crime sceneAfter several years of declines, Mexico’s homicide rate has started to rise, with the total body count for the first half of 2016 the highest since 2012.

The total number of homicides in the first half of this year — 10,301, or about 57 a day — is about 15% more than the 8,979 in the same period in 2015, though it is fewer homicides than in the first halves of 2011 and 2012, when the drug war’s violence was considered to be at its peak.

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A Small Corner of Mexico Is Experiencing a Rising Tide of Property Investment

07/28/2016 The New York Times

punta mita.jpgPUNTA DE MITA, Mexico — Interest in this small corner of Mexico by one of the world’s richest men has helped attract an influx of wealthy investors.

In 2014, Cascade Investment, the private investment firm of Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, bought 19.5 hectares, or 48 acres, of undeveloped beachfront land and the Four Seasons hotel site in Punta Mita, a gated residential resort on the Riviera Nayarit, 40 minutes north of the town of Puerto Vallarta. The cost was reported to be $200 million.

“Bill Gates buying land in the area has had a real impact,” said Aaron Fisher, the sales director at Punta Sayulita, another residential development on the Riviera Nayarit. “We needed high-end clients and now they’re coming.”

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US and Mexico’s mass deportations have fueled humanitarian crisis, report says

07/27/2016 The Guardian

deportation.jpgMass deportations and inadequate asylum procedures in Mexico and the US have fueled a humanitarian crisis where desperate Central Americans seeking refuge from rampant violence are routinely preyed upon by criminal gangs and corrupt officials, according to a new report by the International Crisis Group (ICG).

The tide of people fleeing Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala – three of the five most dangerous countries in the world – continues apace despite beefed-up border control measures implemented after Barack Obama declared the 2014 surge in undocumented migrants a humanitarian crisis. Last year, Mexico deported 165,000 Central Americans, while the US expelled 75,000.

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What I learned reporting on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border

 

07/26/2016 Cronkite News Arizona PBS

Mauricio-Casillas-stand-up
Photo credit: Cronkite News

Editor’s Note: Recently, a group of Cronkite News reporters travelled along the U.S.-Mexico border to work on stories about the results of a Cronkite News-Univision News-Dallas Morning News border poll. Mauricio Casillas, a recent graduate of the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, was one of the reporters who contributed to our coverage. Here, he reflects on his experience as a Borderlands reporter.

Reporting on the border is unlike any other reporting I had ever done. The people, the culture, the issues — they are all unique. For instance, issues that people on the El Paso/Ciudad Juarez border face are not the same as those on the San Diego/Tijuana border. That’s why I think this kind of reporting is so important. Too often, we as journalists like to paint the entire border region with the same brush.

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