New Embezzlement Allegations Against Fugitive Fmr Mexico Governor

11/30/16 InSight Crime

Javier_Duarte_de_OchoaNew details have surfaced relating to the alleged embezzlement of fugitive former Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte, highlighting a lack of institutional capacity to prevent and punish corrupt politicians in Mexico.

After investigations of Duarte for suspected corruption, the Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la República – PGR) recovered 421 million pesos (more than $20 million at current exchange rates) that had allegedly been siphoned off from the Veracruz treasury by two ghost companies.

The head of the federal auditing agency, Juan Manuel Portal, revealed earlier this month that there are 54 allegations against Duarte, El País reported. The alleged amount of public money embezzled from Veracruz by Duarte — some 35 billion pesos, or about $1.7 billion — is the highest ever registered by Portal’s agency, the Superior Auditor of the Federation (Auditoría Superior de la Federación – ASF).

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Mexico’s Deep-Water Oil Round: The Time Of Truth For Energy Reform?

1/12/16 Forbes

oil wellMEXICO CITY — For Mexico, 2016 is drawing to a close as a difficult year. The security situation has shown no signs of improvement, with fighting among organized criminal groups and the spike in the homicide rate that occurred in 2015 (after a hopeful decline from 2011 to 2014) continuing into the first nine months of the year. In turn, low oil prices and increasing public debt levels prompted budget cuts that have impacted government spending, notably in state-owned oil company Pemex.

In this context, a sign of hope at the end of 2016 concerns developments around energy reform, the vast legal change passed in 2013 that opened up hydrocarbon exploration and production to private sector investment.  Specifically, on December 5th all eyes will be fixed on the results of the fourth round of the first bidding process (Round 1.4) to undertake exploration and production in 10 deep water oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Mexico’s Slim: If Trump succeeds, so does Mexico

12/1/16 Reuters

2564224814_f800dcc9d8_oMexican billionaire Carlos Slim said on Thursday that if President-elect Donald Trump succeeds in office, it will be good news for Mexico, and that he would be more worried as an American than a Mexican about the next U.S. government. Slim, a telecoms tycoon who spent several years as the world’s richest man, says he has never met Trump, but the two businessmen traded barbs during a bruising U.S. election campaign in which Trump vowed to build a wall along the southern border to keep out Mexican immigrants

But Slim added that Trump’s potential success would also be Mexico’s, arguing that a 4 percent U.S. growth rate and the creation of millions of jobs would benefit Latin America’s second biggest economy.

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Mexico to Trump: Those Carrier jobs are not the story

1/12/16 The Washington Post

download (2).jpgMEXICO CITY — For the Mexican government, few goals seem more important than winning new foreign investment. The competition among Mexican states to bring the next automobile plant or aerospace factory is intense and produces big-time incentives for foreign companies that make the move. But the announcement that Carrier, the Indiana-based company that makes air conditioners and heaters, would be keeping some 1,000 jobs in its Indianapolis plant instead of moving them to Monterrey, Mexico, was greeted by Mexican officials with little more than a shrug.

“I see this as something that should occupy us, not worry us,” said Hector Castillo Olivares, the mayor of Santa Catarina, the Monterrey suburb where the new Carrier plant is being built. “The United States is not the world,” the state’s governor, Jaime “El Bronco” Rodriguez, told a radio station. “We don’t depend on them, nor do we have to depend on them.”

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Mexico’s Central Bank Chief to Take International Post

12/1/16 The New York Times

carstensMEXICO CITY — The governor of Mexico’s central bank, Agustín Carstens, said on Thursday that he would leave his position next July, adding to the uncertainty that has rattled the country’s economy since the election of Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Carstens, 58, a well-regarded economist, will leave the Bank of Mexico, where he has been governor for seven years, to lead the Bank for International Settlements, a financial institution based in Basel, Switzerland, that acts as a bank for central banks.

It is a complex time for Mexico, as worry mounts that Mr. Trump as the United States president will make good on his campaign promises to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and deport Mexican migrants, anxiety that has pushed the value of the peso down to record levels.

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Morning Spin: Emanuel heads to Mexico City for climate summit

Chicago Tribune 12/1/2016

Mexico CityMayor Rahm Emanuel is in Mexico City today to take part in a climate change summit organized by the C40 group of global cities.

Emanuel departed Chicago on Wednesday afternoon with three staffers and is set to return midday Friday, according to city spokesman Grant Klinzman. The conference is paying the travel costs for Emanuel and one staff member, while the economic development agency World Business Chicago is paying for two other staff members, Klinzman said.

He said the conference will pay for Emanuel and Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Wheat, while World Business Chicago will pay for mayoral spokesman Adam Collins and Lisa Kohnke, the city’s director of strategic partnerships and global affairs. Klinzman said World Business Chicago would have specifics on the costs of their portion of the trip afterward.

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Giant Aluminum Stockpile Was Shipped From Mexico to Vietnam

Wall Street Journal 12/1/2016
sea tradeVUNG TAU, Vietnam—One of the world’s largest aluminum stockpiles, which until a few months ago was stored under hay and plastic tarp in a Mexican desert, has been moved to a remote port here in southern Vietnam.

Starting early this year, 500,000 metric tons of aluminum has been trucked out of the Mexican city of San José Iturbide and shipped to Vietnam, according to shipping records and people familiar with the matter. Much of it now sits under black tarps, guarded by baton-wielding men on motorcycles, at a factory and waterfront complex in this South China Sea port about a two-hour drive south of Ho Chi Minh City.

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