State Department lowers dozens of countries from ‘Do Not Travel’ to ‘Reconsider Travel’ status

06/08/2021

Source: The Washington Post

A month and a half after warning Americans not to travel to most of the world, the U.S. State Department is easing travel advisories for dozens of countries — at least a little.

The department on Tuesday said that it was taking 58 countries and territories out of the Level 4, or “Do Not Travel,” category and designating them as Level 3, or “Reconsider Travel,” destinations. Another 27 places were moved to the first two levels, where travelers are urged to exercise increased caution or exercise normal precautions.

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Mexico hails Harris after visit, flags more border talks

06/09/2021

Source: Reuters

Mexico’s government on Wednesday praised U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris following talks aimed at curbing undocumented immigration, and said another top Biden administration official would visit next week for more discussions.

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We can target all the drug kingpins in Mexico we want, but that’s a losing strategy

06/11/2021

Source: AZ Central

While the migration crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border has monopolized recent headlines, another crisis has been unfolding along the same border: the flow of illegal and increasingly deadly drugs into the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a grim statistic in December that passed largely unnoticed amid the pandemic: the United States registered more than 81,000 drug overdose deaths in the 12 months ending in May 2020, the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period.

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Mexico’s Clip hits unicorn status after SoftBank investment

06/20/2021

Source: Reuters

Mexican payments startup Clip on Thursday said its valuation has jumped to nearly $2 billion after a recent investment led by SoftBank Latin America Fund and Viking Global Investors LP, putting it in a small but growing club of Mexican “unicorns.”

The company was the first in Mexico to receive funding from SoftBank’s Latin America fund in 2019. The latest investment round amounted to $250 million, Clip said.

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Mid-term elections have weakened Mexico’s president

06/10/2021

Source: The Economist

The president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, was not on the ballot, but Mexico’s mid-term elections, held on June 6th, were largely a referendum on his polarising performance. Voters selected representatives to the lower house of the national legislature and 30 of the 32 state congresses, as well as governors of 15 states and thousands of local posts. Although Mr López Obrador’s party, Morena, and the parties in its coalition won a majority in the national legislature’s lower house, it lost its two-thirds supermajority. The results are a blow to the president’s ambitions to transform Mexico.

Parties in power tend to lose seats in mid-terms, so the result is not entirely surprising. Morena dropped from 256 of 500 seats in the lower house to around 198. Even with the help of its allies, it falls well below the 334 seats needed for a supermajority. More gallingly for Mr López Obrador, the coalition of established parties did well: the National Action Party ( pan), which held the presidency from 2000 to 2012, will be the second-biggest political force, followed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party ( pri), which ruled the country for seven decades until 2000.

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Mexico president signals new cabinet changes after finance minister move

06/10/21

Source: Reuters

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday he will be making adjustments in his administration following Sunday’s elections in which his allies lost lower house seats.

Lopez Obrador did not give additional details of what other changes he was contemplating following the announcement on Wednesday that he would tap his finance minister to run the central bank and a close ally to lead the finance ministry.

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Migration at US-Mexico border still high, despite Biden’s efforts

06/10/2021

Source: Aljazeera

The number of migrants arriving in the United States through its southern border with Mexico remained high during the month of May, despite sustained diplomatic efforts by the Biden administration to stem the surge.

According to statistics published by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), 180,034 people were apprehended along the US-Mexico border in May, up slightly from 178,622 the previous month.

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U.S. asks Mexico to review a second complaint about labor violations in its auto industry

06/10/2021

Source: New York Times

The Biden administration is invoking provisions in a new trade agreement to ask Mexico to look into accusations of labor violations at an auto-parts plant near the U.S. border.

The action, announced Wednesday by the Labor Department and the Office of the United States Trade Representative, follows a complaint by groups including the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the nation’s largest federation of unions, that workers were being denied the rights of free association and collective bargaining.

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Mexico bars former cabinet secretary from holding office

06/09/2021

Source: AP

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico announced Tuesday it has barred former Treasury and Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray from holding public office there for 10 years, after finding he failed to accurately report his holdings, income or properties between late 2012 and 2016.

The Department of Public Service said it was the maximum punishment allowed for the violation. Mexican government employees and elected officials above a certain level are required to file income disclosure forms.

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US lifts ‘do not travel’ warning for Canada, Mexico, much of Europe

06/08/2021

Source: FlightGlobal

The US State Department has lowered its risk profile for travel to Canada and Mexico, just as Canada also considers easing some of its own strict restrictions for travellers who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

On 8 June the US government lowered its travel warnings for its northerly and southerly neighbor to a “Level 3”, which urges potential travellers to “reconsider” travel to those countries. Previously Canada and Mexico had been on the “Level 4” list – with the government advising “do not travel”.

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