‘A cause for worry’: Mexico’s monarch butterflies drop by 26% in year

02/26/2021

Source: The Guardian

The number of monarch butterflies that reached their winter resting grounds in central Mexico decreased by about 26% this year, and four times as many trees were lost to illegal logging, drought and other causes, making 2020 a bad year for the butterflies.

The butterflies’ population covered only 2.1 hectares (5.2 acres) in 2020, compared to 2.8 hectares (6.9 acres) the previous year and about one-third of the 6.05 hectares (14.95 acres) detected in 2018, according to government figures.

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Latest Border Closure Extension Between U.S., Canada, Mexico Marks Over 1 Year Since Initial Order

02/23/2021

Source: Travel & Leisure

The land border closure between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico has been extended another month until at least March 21, marking over a year since they were open, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

“To protect our citizens and prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the United States, Canada, and Mexico are extending the restrictions on non-essential travel at our land borders through March 21,” the DHS tweeted Friday. “We are also working to ensure essential trade and travel remain open.”

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Secretary of State Blinken to virtually ‘visit’ Mexico and Canada as borders remain restricted

02/26/2021

Source: USA Today

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will virtually meet with officials in Mexico and Canada in his first trip “abroad” Friday, raising questions about when the three countries will lift restrictions on “non-essential” travel at the borders put in place nearly a year ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The nation’s top diplomat will meet with Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard and Secretary of Economy Tatiana Clouthier behind the backdrop of Paso del Norte bridge – a crucial link between the downtowns of El Paso in Texas and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico.

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Mexico is vaccinating it’s poorest citizens first — against the advice of health experts

02/26/2021

Source: The Washington Post

SAN PEDRO EL ALTO, Mexico — The message blared from a pickup truck with a megaphone attached to the roof: Coronavirus vaccines had arrived in this tiny, Indigenous town in the hills of central Mexico.

Villagers stopped what they were doing to listen. How could San Pedro, where nothing ever seemed to happen, become one of the first places in Latin America to vaccinate its residents?

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Final figures confirm Mexico’s GDP plunged 8.5% in 2020, worst decline in 90 years

02/26/2021

Source: Mexico News Daily

It’s official – Mexico recorded its worst economic contraction since the Great Depression in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic and associated restrictions ravaged the economy.

GDP plunged 8.5% last year, according to final, revised data published Thursday by the national statistics agency Inegi.

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Mexico Could Soon Become the Largest Legal Marijuana Market in the World

02/25/2021

Source: The Nation

When a crew of cannabis activists reached the Mexican Senate here in Mexico City in February 2020, shovels in hand, they started digging up the yellow-tipped bushes near the security check, then the knee-high grass that surrounds the plaza. They planted skinny cannabis stalks, and smokers dropped their own cannabis seeds into a glass jar, each one a tithe for their cause. The operation was a gleeful but pointed jab at the politicians inside, who had used marijuana and other drugs to justify an ongoing war, carried out in partnership with the United States, that had made Mexico one of the most violent countries in the world. They were far more likely to be taken out by a bullet, the activists said, than by smoking a joint. They wanted to make sure reform would be done right.

The stunt was just the latest sign that Mexico’s marijuana-legalization movement, which once consisted of a handful of protesters, had transformed into a diverse and vocal lobby.

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Mexico bid to sell presidential jet stretches into 3rd year

02/24/2021

Source: AP

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s quixotic bid to sell off the presidential jet has now stretched into its third year, with no sign of a buyer in sight.

López Obrador has tried to lure corporations and business executives, and even pledged to raffle off the Boeing 787 jet, but with no takers.

Ever since he took office on Dec. 1, 2018, the president has vowed to sell off the plane because it is too luxurious. López Obrador prides himself on his austerity, flies commercial flights and has made only one trip abroad.

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Mexico’s Lower House Passes Nationalist Electricity Bill

02/24/2021

Source: Bloomberg

Mexico’s lower house of congress approved a controversial electricity bill that prioritizes the state utility above private renewable companies in the latest nationalist move for the country’s energy market.

The bill, proposed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, was approved without any changes in the early morning on Wednesday, with 289 votes in favor, 152 opposed and one abstention. It will now be taken up by the senate, where the ruling Morena party and its allies have a majority.

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Hunting the men who kill women: Mexico’s femicide detective

02/25/2021

Source: The Guardian

On the night of 30 October 2019, as many Mexicans were preparing to celebrate the Day of the Dead, the family of Jessica Jaramillo stood in the pouring rain watching two dozen police search a house on the outskirts of Toluca, the capital of Mexico State. At about 9pm, the authorities carried out a dead dog, followed by two live ones and a cat. Then they pulled out a woman’s body.

Jessi, a 23-year-old psychology student at a local university, had gone missing a week earlier. On 24 October, she hadn’t appeared at the spot where her parents usually picked her up after class. Within a few minutes, she called her mother to say she was going out, abruptly hung up, then texted to add, “Don’t worry, I’m with Óscar”.

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Asylum seekers waiting in Mexico rattled by delays to US entry

02/23/2021

Source: Al Jazeera

The United States has abruptly cancelled plans to bring asylum seekers into Texas at two ports of entry, dashing the hopes of hundreds who have been waiting for months in Mexico under a Trump-era policy President Joe Biden promised to unwind.

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement on Monday that “given current operational considerations”, it could no longer say when it would begin bringing in migrants through ports in Brownsville and El Paso, Texas.

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