A look at seven emerging cartels Mexico just recognized

9/4/15 Economic Times – India

Mexican_drug_cartels_2008Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (PGR) has identified seven new criminal organizations that it has identified as cartels for their range of criminal exploits.

The new organizations are smaller, less entrenched, and are less powerful than the older generation of Mexican cartels which were massive sprawling criminal enterprises.

Instead the new cartels, Insight Crime notes, have largely spawned from mid-ranking members of former Mexican cartels, such as the Zetas.

Mexico is currently carrying out a “kingpin strategy” against criminal organizations in the country.

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36 Human Smugglers arrested in US, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico

9/4/15 In Homeland Security

AP Photo/Agencia Contraluz
AP Photo/Agencia Contraluz

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and law enforcement authorities in El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico arrested 36 alleged human smugglers Friday during a large-scale multinational operation called “Operation Lucero.”

The operation targeted transnational criminal organizations suspected of illegally smuggling hundreds of individuals each week – including children and families – throughout Central America and Mexico into the United States. The operation resulted in 17 arrests in El Salvador, seven in Guatemala and 12 in Mexico,” DHS announced.

In addition to the arrests, 39 undocumented migrants were rescued, including 10 unaccompanied minors, 14 accompanied minors and 15 adults. Law enforcement authorities seized 22 properties – 20 in Guatemala and two in Mexico – valued in excess of $2 million in US currency. Four bank accounts containing the equivalent of $142,000, and bulk cash valued at $46,000 was seized, as well as 22 vehicles, six weapons, three smuggling boats, 11 boat engines, ammunition, bank cards, communication devices and an abundance of documents corroborating human smuggling.

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Officials wrench control of schools back from radical union in Mexico’s restive Oaxaca state

9/4/15 US News

Student by flickr user RightIndexIt looked like a normal first day of school at Patria Libre elementary. Uniformed kids sporting brand-new backpacks with their favorite cartoon characters — Dora the Explorer, Hello Kitty, the “Frozen” heroines — reunited with classmates and sang the national anthem.

But that’s far from normal in Oaxaca, a Mexican state where teachers’ strikes and protests cost the average student 50 days out of the 200-day academic calendar last year, according to federal education officials.

Year after year, protesting teachers have blocked highways and cut off oil refineries. Residents of the capital have fled rocks and tear gas from clashes with police. And the city’s colonial plaza, one of the most picturesque in Mexico, is often filled with tent camps of demonstrators instead of tourists.

“Every year there has been a strike. … I’ve seen my kids falling behind, and we’ve had to support them at home so they can learn,” said Claudia Rodriguez Sosa, a 33-year-old mother of three students from pre- to high school.

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Mexico’s Economy: President Peña Nieto Promised Sweeping Reforms, But Corruption Accusations Have Stalled Growth

9/2/15 International Business Times

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto and first lady Angelica Rivera salute during the military parade celebrating Independence Day at the Zocalo square in downtown Mexico CityMexican President Enrique Peña Nieto marked the halfway point of his six-year presidential term Wednesday with his third State of the Union address, an opportunity he used to highlight his signature plan to dramatically boost Mexico’s economy. But many Mexicans say Peña Nieto’s reforms have fallen short of expectations, hampered by corruption and global economic uncertainties.

Peña Nieto has pushed through roughly a dozen bold reform packages for the energy, telecommunications, finance and education sectors — among others — since he assumed the presidency in late 2012. Mexican officials originally estimated the changes could net 4 to 5 percent annual growth for the country. But three years later, growth figures remain modest: The economy expanded by 2.1 percent in 2014 and is projected to grow around 2.3 percent in 2015, according to the Bank of Mexico’s surveys of private economists in August.

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Upcoming Event! Second Annual North American Energy Forum

Energy Banner Color UPDATEDWHEN: Thursday, September 17, 9am-4pm

WHERE: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Click here to RSVP

The Mexico and Canada Institutes of the Woodrow Wilson Center are pleased to invite you to the Second Annual North American Energy Forum
Featured Keynote Speakers: 
Mexican Under- Secretary of Energy for Hydrocarbons, Lourdes Melgar
Mexican Under-Secretary of Energy for Electricity, César Hernández Ochoa
The Forum will also feature panels on:
  • The Outlook for Oil and Gas under Low Prices
  • North American Electricity Futures
  • Low Carbon Futures
Over the past year, two new developments have left their mark on North America’s energy markets. The first concerns the impact of low oil prices on the region’s producers, with revenue affecting existing and future projects. Alongside the issue of price, we have seen major developments in all three North American countries. In Mexico, the first round of oil contracts is underway, with contracts awarded for exploration in shallow water in July of 2015. At the same time, we have seen major new investment plans unveiled in the electricity sector. In Canada, major infrastructure challenges and political change in the province of Alberta have altered the investment environment. In the US, the Interior Department proposal to open a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean to offshore drilling has generated a highly charged debate, and new EPA rules on emissions have been the subject of analysis and legal challenge. The objective of the forum is to provide insight and draw attention to the challenges and opportunities that these new developments have created.

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Look to California’s Model

9/3/2015 New York Times 

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 200Nearly two-thirds of Americans favor a path to legalizing the status of undocumented immigrants, and this support has remained steady over the past decade. That is to say, immigration is not an issue that the majority of Americans are actually angry about.

Despite consistently high popular support for legalization, Congress has failed to act. After the 2012 elections, reform seemed possible — many conservative leaders, including Paul Ryan, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly were supportive, and the Senate passed an immigration bill with 68 votes in favor. But, many House Republicans were worried about backlash from conservative constituents, and Eric Cantor’s primary loss in 2014 effectively ended any hope for congressional action for the foreseeable future.

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Mexicans’ Drive to Shop Fuels Liverpool Sales in Weak Economy

9/3/2015 Bloomberg

woman with shopping bags and credit cardEl Puerto de Liverpool SAB, Mexico’s biggest department store, survived last month’s stock meltdown to return to near-record levels, showing further evidence that retail sales and consumer credit are the bright spots in a sluggish economy.

The company, named after the Port of Liverpool when it imported merchandise from the English city in the 19th century, had the fourth-biggest stock gain in the country’s benchmark index this year, after beating analysts’ sales estimates for four straight quarters.

With the 33 percent share increase so far in 2015, Liverpool trades at 31.5 times earnings, close to the average among its peers, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Still, the rise may not be sustainable, according to Signum Research analyst Cristina Morales. The weaker peso means imported products are getting more expensive and it may force Liverpool to raise its prices, driving some consumers away, said Morales, who recommends holding the stock.

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