Shootout raises anew specter of cartels in Mexico City

7/21/2017 Los Angeles Times

crime sceneIt was still daylight when a Mexican military patrol was attacked on the city streets, leading to what authorities described as a fierce firefight with a heavily armed gang.

Soon the Internet and newspapers were showing images of the gory aftermath: the bloodstained bodies of the gang leader and four of his confederates on the floor of a carport, a rifle next to his head and bundles that appeared to be drugs on a nearby folding table.

Supporters of the slain capo torched vehicles on the streets in an effort to thwart police patrols advancing through the neighborhood.

It was hardly an unusual scene in a country that has been ravaged by drug violence. Except the violence Thursday unfolded in Mexico City, which has generally been spared the mass killings, cartel savagery and street battles of the country’s drug wars.

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Without Visas, Carnival Workers Are Trapped at Home in Mexico

7/22/2017 The New York Times

migrants1

Francisco Trujillo heads north each summer to do a job that few Americans want: a four-month stint operating carnival rides, mopping up vomit and sleeping in a cramped trailer with other workers.

His annual journey to the United States was a routine shared by many in the shabby city of Tlapacoyan, about 190 miles east of Mexico City in the hills of Veracruz state, which supplies two-thirds or more of the 7,000 foreign workers hired by America’s amusement sector each year.

This year, however, Mr. Trujillo, 32, is not selling tickets for the Super Shot vertical drop or doling out funnel cakes. Caught in a debate over how many visas the United States government should issue to seasonal workers, he is among thousands of Mexicans who are stuck at home, unable to get permission to work across the border.

“They say we are taking jobs from the Americans,” said Mr. Trujillo, who has worked the last four carnival seasons in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Carnival work is “really hard,” he said, adding, “Americans don’t want to do it.”\

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Five killed in Mexico City shootings

07/23/2017 Reuters

gun - crime sceneFive people were killed and nearly a dozen injured in separate shootings in Mexico City on Sunday, authorities said, adding to a growing death toll in the capital which has largely been spared the criminal violence plaguing the country.

Two gunmen on a motorcycle shot four people in a bar in the gritty Llano Redondo neighborhood on the city’s southwestern fringe early on Sunday morning, according to the local attorney general’s office.

A woman of 23, and two men aged 23 and 38 died of their injuries. Authorities said the fourth victim, a 23-year-old man, remains in hospital after the attack.

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Mexican former state governor to be tried for organized crime

7/23/2017 Reuters

A former state governor from Mexico’s ruling party will stand trial for engaging in organized crime and handling funds of illicit origin after a judge reviewing evidence approved the case, the attorney general’s office said on Saturday.

Javier Duarte, who until 2016 governed the Gulf coast state of Veracruz for President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), has been accused by the opposition of siphoning off millions of dollars during his six-year tenure.

On Monday, Duarte was extradited to Mexico from Guatemala, where he was captured in April after spending months on the run. He has denied any wrongdoing. Some doubts had surfaced in the past few days about the strength of the case against him.

However, after presenting 82 pieces of evidence in hearings on Saturday, the attorney general’s office said in a statement that the judge gave prosecutors six months to proceed with the investigation against 43-year-old Duarte.

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Mexico inflation eases less than expected in early July

7/24/2017 Reuters

carstensMexico’s annual inflation rate eased less than expected in the first half of July, data showed on Monday, but still lent weight to the central bank’s view that price pressures in Latin America’s second biggest economy may be peaking.

Annual inflation slowed to 6.28 percent from 6.33 percent in the second half of June, figures from the national statistics institute INEGI showed. A Reuters poll of economists had forecast a rate of 6.23 percent.

Consumer prices rose 0.24 percent during the first half of July compared with the previous two-week period, slightly above the poll forecast for an increase of 0.19 percent.

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Mexico oil rush attracts varied group of buyers

7/23/2017 Financial Times

Oil barrelsMexico’s oil sector has just become exotic.

From the president of Spanish football club, Real Madrid, to telecoms mogul, Carlos Slim, and companies called Jaguar Exploration and Sun God Resources, new buyers are piling into the country’s industry that for decades had been the undisputed territory of state oil group, Pemex. This month brought a particularly dramatic oilfield auction, with such intense competition that multimillion-dollar cash bonuses were needed to break eight tied bids, at times eliciting gasps from the audience because of their size.

The tenders came hot on the heels of a discovery that confirmed Mexico as containing world-class assets — a consortium including Talos Energy of the US, Mexico’s Sierra Oil & Gas and Premier Oil of the UK, announced the world’s fifth-biggest oil strike in the past five years, with as much as 2bn barrels of oil. The group has been exploring one of the only two blocks awarded in Mexico’s first tender, in July 2015.

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Mexico ruling party well behind upstart leftist in voter poll

7/23/2017 Reuters

AMLOMexico’s ruling party is running in third place with less than a year to go before the next presidential election, well behind the new party of leftist hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, an opinion poll showed on Sunday.

Excluding undecided voters, support for President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) stood at 17 percent, 11 percentage points behind the top choice, Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), with 28 percent, the poll by newspaper Reforma showed.

The second most popular option with 23 percent support was the center-right opposition National Action Party, or PAN, which held the presidency between 2000 and 2012.

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