Mexico’s Sex Trafficking Laws Are Hurting The People They’re Supposed To Protect

03/16/2018 The Huffington Post

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TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, MEXICO — Sitting at the kitchen table in her friend’s apartment, Fanny Romero flicked her fingers across the screen of her smartphone, scrolling through seemingly endless WhatsApp messages from men inquiring about her availability for the night.

Huddled up to her, Anyela Zuniga scrutinized the names flying by on the screen. “Ugh, I blocked that guy, too. He gave me the creeps,” she told her friend, pointing at one name as the scrolling came to a halt.

Both transgender women, Romero and Zuniga are sex workers in the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the humid capital of Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas. They work for themselves, communicating with clients through Facebook and WhatsApp and deciding their own hours and rates. Their occupation involves many risks and challenges ― the biggest of them all simply staying safe while on the job.

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Mexico agrees to extradite former ruling party governor to U.S.

03/16/2018 Reuters

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico has agreed to extradite a former state governor for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) wanted on money laundering charges in the United States, the foreign ministry said on Friday.

Eugenio Hernandez, who served as governor of the northern border state of Tamaulipas from 2005 to 2010, faces trial in a U.S. federal court in Texas, the ministry said in a statement.

Several former PRI governors, including Hernandez’s predecessor in Tamaulipas, have been arrested over allegations of corruption in the past year, seriously undermining the reputation of the ruling party.

The party’s candidate is running third in most opinion polls in the race to win the July 1 Mexican presidential election.

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6 Months After Mexico Quake Some Still Camp Outside Homes

03/19/2018 The New York Times

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MEXICO CITY — Under a patchwork shelter of overlapping tarps and repurposed vinyl advertisements, several dozen residents of 18 Independence Street pack cheek by jowl into donated tents in the street near their building, which was damaged in the Sept. 19 earthquake.

Six months after the temblor, improvised camps like this one erected by displaced residents are among the most visible signs that not everyone has moved on from the earthquake that killed 228 people in Mexico City and 141 more elsewhere.

Mexico City Reconstruction Commissioner Edgar Oswaldo Tungui Rodriguez said there are 27 such camps around the capital, but denied that people were living in any of them. Rather, he said, quake victims had just posted guards to watch over their property.

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Mexico’s Ruling-Party Candidate Wants Law to End Political Immunity

03/18/2018 The New York Times

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MEXICO CITY — Mexican presidential candidate Jose Antonio Meade urged lawmakers on Sunday from the ruling party-led coalition he leads to offer a bill before the election to remove political immunity at all levels of government, including for the president.

Speaking after formally registering his candidacy for the July 1 election, which has been dominated by voters’ frustration with endemic corruption and growing violence, Meade said he was committed to making Mexico a more fair and just country.

“With these themes that are so relevant, we shouldn’t wait until after the election,” he said. “That’s why … I am asking lawmakers of our coalition to present a proposal to eliminate political immunity at all levels. Nobody should be immune.”

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Mexican election front-runner offers referendums, could end term early

03/16/2018 Reuters

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday he will hold a referendum on his performance every two years if he wins election in July, and would cut his six-year term short if he loses the consultation.

The leftist, who is running for president for the third time, promises to end corruption and fight inequality without disrupting the economy. Critics fear he will put the brakes on economic reforms brought in by President Enrique Pena Nieto.

A former Mexico City mayor, Lopez Obrador has a wide lead in most opinion polls.

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AMLO Seen Gaining as Two Mexico Independents Forced Out of Race

03/16/2018 Bloomberg

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Mexico’s electoral regulator said millions of signatures gathered to secure independents on the presidential ballot are unverifiable, disqualifying two candidates and providing a lift to leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

More than 3 million signatures couldn’t be verified, leaving left-leaning Armando Rios Piter and former Gov. Jaime Rodriguez off the ballot and handing former first-lady Margarita Zavala barely enough signatures to participate in July’s election, regulators said.

More political positions are up for grabs in July’s general elections than any in the nation’s history, and it’s the first time independents have had the chance to run for president. But allegations of massive, wide-scale forgery have thrown the question of allowing non-party contenders on the ballot into doubt. And with Zavala the only independent left, analysts say she’ll siphon support away from mainstream candidates polling second and third, leaving the leftist front-runner with an even larger lead than he already has.

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Mexico’s Former First Lady to Run for President as Independent

03/16/2018 The Wall Street Journal

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MEXICO CITY—Mexico’s former first lady Margarita Zavala secured the needed number of citizens’ signatures to run as an independent candidate in July’s presidential election, a move that analysts say would divide the field of candidates and benefit front-runnerAndrés Manuel López Obrador.

Ms. Zavala, a conservative lawyer married to Felipe Calderón, who was president from 2006 to 2012, got 867,000 valid signatures across 17 states, Mexico’s electoral agency said Friday. She exceeded the required amount by 3,000 signatures.

Two other independent hopefuls, leftist Sen. Armando Ríos Piter and Nuevo León state Gov. Jaime Rodríguez, were disqualified with insufficient valid signatures.

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