Mexico’s TV Giveaway Spawns Questions

09/29/2016 The Wall Street Journal 

typing on computer keyboardMEXICO CITY—Mexico, long considered a free-market bastion in Latin America, recently carried out one of the region’s biggest government giveaways: a $1.3 billion program to hand out close to 10.5 million flat-screen television sets to the country’s poor.

The government touted the program, aimed at low-income mothers, senior citizens and other welfare recipients, as a model of social inclusion and the best way to push the country forward from analog signals into the digital age. The number of televisions given away was equal to twice the sets Mexicans normally buy in a single year.

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Mexico’s push for same-sex marriage might be getting a holy opponent

09/29/2016 Business Insider 

POPEMexico’s conservative movement against same-sex marriage seems to have gained a holy backer.

During last Sunday’s mass at the Vatican, Pope Francis said a few words that are being interpreted by many Mexicans as a show of support for those leading the fight against marriage equality in the Aztec nation.

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Mexico Awards Contracts to Secure Renewable Energy

09/29/2016 The Wall Street Journal 

eneryMEXICO CITY—Mexico’s opening of its electricity market after decades of state control is driving fierce competition among suppliers of clean energy and pushing prices down, as renewable energies gain traction across Latin America.

Mexico’s government, following the launch this year of a wholesale electricity market under an independent system operator, this year held its first auctions in which companies made bids to sell renewable energy under long-term contracts to state-owned utility Comisión Federal de Electricidad, or CFE, starting in 2018.

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‘Narcos alone rule’: Mexico shaken after three priests killed within a week

09/29/2016 The Guardian 

The Catholic priest José Alfredo López Guillén was seized from his parish residence in rural Michoacán, where he served a congregation of corn farmers and ranchers. The next day, the wreckage of his Volkswagen Jetta was discovered on the outskirts of the town of Quiroga, 71 miles (115km) from where it had been stolen.

The priest’s body was discovered on Sunday on a lonely stretch of road, nearly a week after his abduction. He had been shot five times in the stomach.

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‘Mexico is one big cemetery.’ The search for the secret graves for the disappeared

09/29/2016 Los Angeles Times 

Cross They gather shortly after daybreak outside a mini-market, the tropical heat thickening, the dawn haze in lethargic retreat. They hug and catch up, purchase water and snacks for the upcoming ordeal. New volunteers are welcomed.

“You’re not alone,” Lucia Diaz, a leader of the group, assures a young woman on her inaugural outing. “We are all sharing in this together.”

They lug basics: shovels, machetes, hammers, a metal rod to test the earth, a portable canopy to block the broiling sun. Diaz and about 15 others head off in several pickups, passing a police guard and arriving at a mosquito-infested field where everyone sprays on repellent and dons masks and gloves for the grisly task ahead.

Their objective: human remains, long buried, now emerging from the earth, providing clues to unspeakable fates.

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Mexico is not just “taking jobs” from the US. It’s also adding them.

9/28/2016 Quartz

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump repeatedly lamented the loss of jobs to Mexico during his facedown with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Sept. 26.

Putting aside the fact that some of his claims were untrue—the social media folks at Ford had to jump in on Twitter mid-debate to deny Trump’s claim that the car company is leaving the US—his views offer an extremely one-sided view of the relationship Mexico and the US have built under the North American Free Trade Agreement, particularly when it comes to jobs.

He didn’t mention, for example, that as a partner under NAFTA, Mexico is also supporting employment in the US.

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This article mentions the Mexico Institute’s new project Growing Together: Economic Ties between the United States and Mexico. Check out the project.

Two Years Later, Unsolved Iguala Case Underscores Mexico Security Failures

09/28/16 InSight Crime

iguala (1)The case of Mexico‘s 43 missing students remains unsolved after two years, underscoring the reasons for the deep distrust many Mexican citizens harbor toward their government when it comes to matters of crime and security.

On the evening of September 26, 2014, police in the city of Iguala in Guerrero state attacked a group of students from a teacher’s college in the nearby town of Ayotzinapa. Over the course of a few hours, the police — along with several unidentified gunmen — killed six people, injured dozens more, destroyed several vehicles and apprehended 43 students, none of whom have been seen alive since that night.

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