Building Borders That Foster Security And Prosperity In North America

5/24/2016 Forbes

san-ysidro-border-crossing-by-flickr-user-otzbergBy Earl Anthony Wayne and Christopher Wilson

Canada, Mexico and the United States are collaborating to enhance security and foster prosperity at North America’s borders, while respecting each nation’s sovereignty.  Prime Minister Trudeau, President Peña Nieto and President Obama can give this effort a big boost when they meet for the North American Leaders Summit (NALS) on June 29 in Canada.  Given the contentious nature of the public and political debates about border security right now, it will be especially important for the leaders to articulate clearly what it means to build twenty-first century borders that are smart, effective, and meet both the security and competitiveness needs of North America. They should also bless a strong, substantive work agenda to make those objectives reality.

The three countries trade some $3.6 billion in goods and services each day.  Over a million citizens of the three nations cross the borders as part of their daily routine.  Border management tasks are enormous.  But, officials, the private sector and the many states, provinces and cities that benefit from border trade and travel see the tremendous value of a North America in which borders are places of connection and cooperation at least as much as division.  Around our borders, the three governments fight illicit activity; help our economies by facilitating legal trade and transit; and work to protect all three societies from threats ranging from terrorism to invasive species and diseases.

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‘War on Drugs’ a Recipe for Rights Abuses in Mexico

5/24/16 InSight Crime

16-05-23Mexico_logo_prodhMexico’s Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center reports that impunity over human rights violations in the country generates an unconscionable mixture: the economic and political interests of organized crime go unscathed, while the most marginalized and often innocent people face the worst consequences.

The criminalization of the sale and consumption of certain substances, under the model known internationally as ‘the war on drugs’, has been increasingly criticized in a variety of global forums due to its evident failure as a strategy to end the use and abuse of prohibited substances, as well as its impact in filling prisons with people accused of non-violent crimes.

When this model is adopted in a country where the rule of law, accountability or respect for human rights has not been consolidated, the negative impacts are multiplied.

This is the case in Mexico.

The prohibition of substances that are in high demand in the United States has made drug trafficking in Mexico one of the most lucrative businesses in the world. The million-dollar profits produced of this industry have massively fueled the growth, diversification and conflicts between criminal groups in Mexico. And these groups are often mixed up with broad sectors of the state in more than a few regions of the country, where the line between organized crime and the public sector has been blurred.

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Mexico FDI rises to record high in first quarter

5/25/16 Reuters

mexico-statesMay 23 Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mexico rose 4.3 percent to $7.896 billion, the Economy Ministry said on Monday, adding that it was a record high for the first quarter.

The increase in FDI, which was above the $7.5 billion in last year’s first quarter, includes $2 billion that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries paid to acquire Rimsa, a Mexican pharmaceutical firm. Teva struck the deal in October.

The United States accounted for about 29 percent of the country’s total FDI in the first quarter, followed by Israel, Spain, Germany and South Korea. (Reporting by Anna Yukhananov)

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Mexico mass grave: Exhumation of 116 bodies in Morelos

5/25/16 BBC News

800px-Morelos_in_Mexico_(zoom).svgMexican authorities have begun exhuming 116 bodies found buried in a mass grave in the central state of Morelos.

The rural grave, discovered last November in the town of Tetelcingo, consists of two 10m (33ft) deep pits.

Prosecutors say that the bodies may have been dumped illegally by morgue officials, but the investigation into who is responsible is ongoing.

Morelos is among the worst-affected states in Mexico’s epidemic of drug-related violence.

At least 20,000 people have disappeared across Mexico, the UN estimates – other organisation put the number far higher.

Investigators at Tetelcingo worked under a yellow tent as families of missing persons and National Human Rights Commission representatives looked on.

Genetic samples will be taken from each set of remains to attempt identification before they are reburied in marked graves.

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‘Aquatic cocaine’: Fish bladders are latest Mexican smuggling commodity

5/24/16 CNN

cocaineJonathan Garcia Pereda snapped a photo, the contraband glowing white in his smartphone. Mexican federal police had stopped a 28-year-old man from San Felipe at a checkpoint, discovering black plastic bags balled up in the tires. It appeared to be another familiar bust to the Mexican police, until they cut open the bags.

One hundred twenty-one fish swim bladders lay before Garcia Pereda on the concrete floor, most of them white, some with shades of pink. The smell of fish guts was overwhelming, a stench Garcia Pereda never grew accustomed to, even as he went from bust after bust of the illegal smuggling. This was a huge haul of “aquatic cocaine”: 39 kilos of totoaba fish swim bladders, with a Hong Kong street value of $750,000. Not quite as big as a recent bust, thought Garcia Pereda, where they’d stopped 600 bladders from getting across the U.S.-Mexico border, flowing eventually to China.
These swim bladders were large, all from totoaba bass at least 30 years old. Garcia Pereda, a representative from PROFEPA, Mexico’s version of the Environmental Protection Agency, knew this bust was barely a dent in the multibillion-dollar international black market, robbing Mexico of its endangered species.

Mexico Prepares to Counter ‘the Trump Emergency’

5/22/2016 The New York Times

Border - Mexico

MEXICO CITY — Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, was recently stuck in Mexico City traffic, overcome with frustration — not by the congestion, but by something that was irritating him even more: Donald J. Trump. He grabbed his phone, turned the lens on himself and pressed record.

“Ha! Donald,” Mr. Fox said, holding the phone perhaps a little too close to his face. “What about your apologies to Mexico, to Mexicans in the United States, to Mexicans in Mexico?”

In short order, the 15-second clip was on Mr. Fox’s Twitter feed — another salvo in a personal campaign against the American presidential candidate that has included television appearances, radio interviews and a fusillade of hectoring Twitter posts.

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Headlines from Mexico

newspapers logo2-011.Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department has ruled that the extradition of convicted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera to the United States can go forward. The process can still be appealed, which means it could take weeks or months before the Sinaloa cartel leader may be sent north. Guzman’s lawyers have 30 days to appeal the decision.

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

2. Mexico’s Public Education Secretary Aurelio Nuño announced the dismissal of least 3,119 teachers who accumulated their fourth offense by taking part in the strike called last Monday by the CNTE teachers union. Protests continue to gather in the Plaza de Independencia in Mexico City.

Read more: Excelsior, El Universal, Reforma, Milenio

 

3. Enrique Peña Nieto announced over Twitter on Tuesday of a proposal to allow same sex marriage nationally. On Twitter, President Enrique Pena Nieto had”announced the signing of a reform initiative which includes the recognition of the right to get married without any form of discrimination.”

Read more: Milenio, Reforma, El Universal, Excelsior