Headlines from Mexico

newspapers logo2-011. There has been ongoing controversy regarding the incoming government’s plan to construct the New International Airport of Mexico (NAIM). During a Citizens’ Information Forum this week, specialists raised concerns over the potential environmental consequences of building the airport in Texcoco. Politicians, who are divided on the issue, have also raised concerns about the cost and feasibility of the project.

Jornada, El Universal, El Universal

2. Rosario Robles Berlanga, Mexico’s current Secretary of Social Development, was summoned to the Court of Deputies this week, where she was accused of multiple acts of corruption, including diverting millions of pesos worth of public resources meant to be used for poverty reduction programs.

Jornada, Milenio, El Universal

3. This week, a caravan of more than four thousand migrants left Honduras to make the trip across Guatemala, Mexico and eventually arrive in the United States. The caravan has received much attention from the media and prominent politicians, including President Donald Trump. Trump threatened that if Mexican authorities don’t detain the caravan, he will send troops to close the U.S.-Mexico border. The migrants reached the Mexican border on Friday, spurring violence.

Jornada, El Universal, Milenio

4. President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that the new administration will divide the country into 265 special zones to ameliorate crime and violence, provide specialized training for police forces, and implement a comprehensive crime prevention policy in high-crime regions, as part of his administration’s security and pacification strategy.

Animal PoliticoExcelsior, El Universal

 

 

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US requests WTO panel get involved in tariffs retaliation: report

10/19/2018 – The Hill 

construction-construction-material-metal-46167The U.S. is requesting the World Trade Organization convene a dispute resolution panel to get involved in the growing dispute over international retaliation against American tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The request, which Reuters reports was submitted Thursday, is in regard to tariffs imposed by China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico, which were all placed after the Trump administration imposed a 25 percent duty on steel imports and a 10 percent tax on aluminum imports, which it said were based on national security concerns.

Canada, Mexico, China and the EU also said it would seek the WTO’s help in resolving the dispute, yet the focus would be on Washington’s tariffs rather than their own.

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Tariffs slow USMCA show

10/19/2018 – Politico

8866910592_2494c9e3b4_zTARIFFS SLOW USMCA SHOW — Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are talking about where they might sign the new USMCA deal. Pro Trade’s Adam Behsudi reports on one idea floating around the White House: In the U.S. Midwest, before the midterms, in a symbolic NAFTA-killing celebration at the height of campaign season. It wouldn’t be a formal signing under fast-track rules — that can’t happen before the end of November. But because the countries’ leaders will be on another continent for the G-20 in Buenos Aires at the end of next month and Mexico’s president leaves office Dec. 1, there’s talk of another, less formal venue for a big event. Some members of the Republican administration, for obvious reasons, are attracted to the idea of a pre-midterm event in a place battered by international manufacturing competition.

— But there’s a problem: Canada has no interest in attending such an event while U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum are still in place, according to Ambassador David MacNaughton. The incoming Mexican administration reportedly feels the same way. A high-level U.S. source told POLITICO’s Ben White that this pre-midterm event is under discussion and has “come up several times” and the “political people” want to do it. But this source concurred that the issue of tariffs remains a problem with Mexico and Canada and that the discussions are to switch to “generous quotas.”

 

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Mexico Says Migrants in Caravan Should Proceed Individually as They Enter Country

10/19/2018 – The New York Times

34588233744_c481f7876a_kMexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said on Friday that members of a caravan of Central American migrants heading north should proceed individually if they decide to enter Mexico.

Speaking to local media, Videgaray said the Mexican government had been informing members of the caravan of their options for entering the country, adding that Mexico had sought the assistance of the United Nations.

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Mexico will ask UN for help handling refugee applications

10/19/2018 – The Hill 

43546029465_5ee3f0e602_z.jpgTAL AXELROD

The Mexican government said Thursday it would seek help from the United Nations refugee agency in coordinating efforts with other Central American governments to manage immigrants arriving to Mexico’s southern border seeking refugee status.

The measure “seeks to guarantee the security and integrity of migrants, particularly minors, the elderly and women, and to avoid people being deceived by international criminal organizations dedicated to human trafficking, who put their lives in danger,” the Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“Finally, the government of Mexico reiterates its commitments with the international community’s efforts in favor of safe, orderly and regular migration; and with the human rights of migrants. At the same time, it expresses its conviction that dialogue and international cooperation among countries of origin, transit and destination of migrants are indispensable to confront the challenges that the migratory phenomenon implies,” it added.

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Trump wants USMCA signing ceremony before the midterms

10/19/2018 Politico

17189994466_d7ac38af7a_kBen White 

Scooped last night with Adam Behsudi, Alexander Panetta and Doug Palmer that the White House is looking to potentially do a ceremonial signing event of the new NAFTA deal (now known as the USMCA) in a Midwestern city ahead of the midterms. Such an event would be for show only as the deal can only be officially signed once 60 days have passed since the agreement. But it would allow the White House to formally declare victory and try to get some wider credit for a promise kept before voters head to the polls on Nov. 6.

But there are problems. Neither Canada nor Mexico are keen to take part in any such event as long as steel and aluminum tariffs remain. Some White House advisers wanted those tariffs removed once the three nations agreed to the USMCA. But Trump has not agreed to that. Two senior officials tell us that the tariffs could be replaced with “generous” quotas on steel and aluminum to help Canadian and Mexican leaders agree to such a signing event.

Or the event may never materialize. Nothing is finalized. But we are told it’s been discussed multiple times and political people in the White House are interested in making it happen.

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The Latest: Migrants Prepare to Cross Into Mexico Territory

10/19/2018 – The New York Times

4th-of-july-america-american-flag-774316The Latest on a caravan of Central American migrants hoping to reach the United States (all times local):

7 a.m.

Participants in a 3,000-strong migrant caravan heading toward the United States have gathered in a park to wait a few more hours for members of the group who are still arriving.

The migrants have agreed that they will begin their journey to the border crossing between Guatemala and Mexico around 11 a.m. local time.

Some plan to make a valley-like formation, with men walking to the sides and women and children walking in the middle. Others intend to cross the Suchiate River on a raft.

The exhausted travelers are mostly from Honduras, but migrants from other Central American countries have joined the caravan.

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