Mexico rescue efforts obscured by backdrop of controversy

09/22/2017 Financial Times

File:Ceremonia 30 años del Terremoto de México de 1985 - Plaza de la Solidaridad 07.JPGFirst the bad news. Then the fake news?

Mexico suffered its most devastating earthquake in three decades on September 19, a date burnt into Mexicans’ brains as that of the “Big One” when a massive quake in 1985 flattened much of the city, toppled entire blocks, and killed at least 9,500.

This time, the devastation was mercifully more limited — the death toll, still rising, has hit 300 — but the pain was the same, especially in a country that suffered its strongest earthquake in a century only a fortnight ago. The government has been caught on the back foot in other crises, but not this time. It immediately sprang into action and was juggling the disaster response to two major earthquakes in as many weeks in central and southern parts of the country.

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1. On September 19, 2017, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck southeast of Mexico City. At least 230 people have been killed in Mexico State, Puebla, Morelos, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Mexico City. Rescue and recovery efforts continue throughout the affected regions.

Read more: Reforma, Excelsior, El Universal, El Financiero, Milenio

2. On September 15, 2017, the body of nineteen year-old Mara Fernandez Castilla was in the state of Puebla. Ricardo Alexis Díaz, a driver for the ride-hailing service, Cabify, is the primary suspect in her murder. The government of Puebla rescinded Cabify’s operating license after confirming the infringement of security protocols. In a statement, Cabify announced the creation of an in-app panic button and the inclusion of emergency contact information to reinforce passenger safety.

Read more: El Financiero, Milenio, El Universal, Reforma, Proceso

3. United States Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, is uncertain whether the NAFTA renegotiations will conclude early next year. Mexico’s Economy Secretary, Ildefonso Guarjardo, highlights the complexity and opposing positions when addressing certain aspects of the trade agreement. The third round of negotiations will take place from September 23-27 in Ottawa, Canada.

Read more: El Financiero, Reforma, Excelsior, El Universal

4. Alfredo Del Mazo, governor of the State of Mexico, assures the implementation of public safety reforms within the three months of his tenure. The Mexican State Government’s creation of the Security, Justice, and Human Rights Secretariats along with the installation of 20,000 security cameras highlight the initial steps taken to reduce insecurity across the state.

Read more: El Financiero, Milenio, Reforma, Excelsior

 

 

 

Here’s the scariest part of NAFTA, according to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross

09/22/2017 CNBC

Image result for wilbur rossCommerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC on Friday that autos and auto parts are a key area in overhauling the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.

The “scariest part” of NAFTA as it’s currently written is that autos and auto parts make up nearly all of the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico and Canada, Ross said on “Squawk Box.”

“Without that there would be a surplus,” he said.

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Search for Mexico quake survivors enters day 4, some success

09/22/2017 Washington Post

Road - damaged roadMEXICO CITY — Survivors are still being pulled from rubble in Mexico City as rescue operations stretch into a fourth day Friday, spurring hope among desperate relatives gathered at the sites of buildings collapsed by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake.

Mexico’s federal police said several people were lifted out of the debris of two buildings Thursday. Rescuers removed or broke through slabs until they found cracks that allowed workers to wiggle through to reach the victims, then lift them to safety. The city government said 60 people in all had been rescued since the quake hit at midday Tuesday.

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Nafta Countries Gather With ‘Narrow Path’ to Getting Quick Deal

09/22/2017 Bloomberg

NAFTANorth American trading partners are downplaying expectations for major progress from talks to update the free-trade agreement that resume in Ottawa on Saturday, even as the clock runs down on their goal of getting a quick deal.

Talks to rewrite the 1994 trade accord were spurred in August by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has regularly threatened to withdraw if he can’t wring out better terms for American workers and industries. While complex negotiations for a pact that underpins more than $1.2 trillion in annual trade typically could take years, the countries are pushing to wrap up talks on modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement by December.

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Battered, Not Broken: Pictures of Mexico After the Quake

 

Source: Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times

  09/20/2017 The New York Times 

The earthquake that devastated Mexico on Tuesday knocked over dozens of buildings in the capital alone, killed children at a school and sent waves of people running into the streets for safety — for the second time in just two weeks.

By Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after the quake struck about 100 miles from Mexico City, more than 200 people had been reported killed. And with rescue workers and ordinary citizens still digging through the rubble, the death toll was expected to climb.

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In Mexico, Weavers Embrace Natural Alternatives to Toxic Dyes

09/18/2017 The New York Times

Zarape.jpgTEOTITLÁN DEL VALLE, Mexico — As a child, Porfirio Gutiérrez hiked into the mountains above the village with his family each fall, collecting the plants they would use to make colorful dyes for blankets and other woven goods.

They gathered pericón, a type of marigold that turned the woolen skeins a buttercream color; jarilla leaves that yielded a fresh green; and tree lichen known as old man’s beard that dyed wool a yellow as pale as straw.

“We’d talk about the stories of the plants,” Mr. Gutiérrez, 39, recalled. “Where they grew, the colors that they provide, what’s the perfect timing to collect them.”

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