Weekly News Summary: April 12th

Coffee by Flikr user samrevelThe Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.

What the English-language press had to say…

Last Friday, some 2,000 teachers protesting the education reforms proposed by the Peña Nieto administration blocked the highway between Mexico City and Acapulco for several hours. Federal policemen forced them off the roads, but future clashes are likely. Mexican officials announced homicide rates are down about 14% compared to the same period last year. Media outlets including the Los Angeles Times remained highly skeptical of such claims, and directed attention to the growing vigilante crisis affecting parts of the country, as well as the violence suffered by journalists covering organized crime.

Optimistic news pieces, however, continued to surface. Real Clear Politics referred to Mexico as a “stable, politically diverse neighbor.” American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies remarked that while “Brazil was everyone’s favorite two years ago, Mexico is now being hailed as a hot performer.” And in an article for The New York Times, Eduardo Porter argued Mexico’s austerity experience following the 1982 financial crisis holds lessons for struggling European nations today.

On Wednesday, thousands of people gathered outside the U.S. Capitol and across the United States in support of immigration reform. A bipartisan bill led by eight senators – which Politico reports may be released next Tuesday – will define ‘border security’ as “100% awareness of when people cross the most trafficked sections of the Southwest border,” as well as the ability to stop 90% of unauthorized traffic. In an op-ed for The Dallas Morning News, the Mexico Institute’s Christopher Wilson argued that more attention should be placed on the “staffing, infrastructure and technology needs of ports of entry themselves” in order to secure the border and enhance America’s economic competitiveness. A conservative think-tank released a study arguing immigration reform would boost economic growth and reduce the federal deficit.

What Mexican columnists had to say…

The Nation’s Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) granted liberty to fifteen indigenous people who were falsely incriminated for participating in the 1997 Acteal massacre. In regards to this case, Templo Mayor asserted that the federal government may retaliate against federal and state authorities who allowed this injustice to happen.

On the other hand, Jorge Fernandez Menendez describes how self-defense groups in Guerrero and Michoacán are part of a strategy used by armed organizations and narcotrafficking groups, respectively.  In the meantime, Secretary of Interior Miguel Angel Osorio Chong reports that the violent crime rate has decreased in Mexico. Although Leo Zuckerman agrees with the figures presented by Osorio Chong, he notes that executions increased by 30% in March.  By referring to Lantia database, a consultancy specializing in security issues, he states that killings in the first four months of EPN’s administration have totaled to 4, 145— an average of 34 per day. On that same note, Ciro Gomez Leyva affirms that Milenio will maintain a death of toll of organized crime killings.


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